Why the Hatton Garden heist is back in the headlines

With the news that 69-year-old ringleader Terry Perkins has died in Belmarsh Prison, the infamous Hatton Gardens heist has hit the front pages again – almost three years after a group of elderly villains spent an entire weekend breaking into and robbing the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit centre in London, making away with an estimated £13,690,331.75 in jewellery, cash and gold.

Ever since the very first details began to emerge on the morning of 7th April, 2015, the audacity and scale of the raid have fascinated press and public alike. Indeed, the tale has already inspired not one, but three feature films (the latest of which stars Michael Caine) as well as an ITV drama series starring Kenneth Cranham and Timothy Spall. However, for all its cinematic appeal, it should not be forgotten that this is a true story, not crime fiction. Real lives have been affected and there are real victims involved.

It is sobering to remember just how much some people have lost. Jeweller Kjeld Jacobsen, for example, lost his retirement savings overnight. Having recently closed down his Fulham Road shop, the pensioner had placed hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of jewellery in his safe deposit box just five weeks before the raid. His turned out to be one of the 73 boxes emptied by the thieves, and he hadn’t insured its contents.

To date, approximately £3.6 million of the property stolen in the heist has been seized and returned to the victims, and approximately £700,000 of jewellery is due to be auctioned by police because it has proved impossible to identify the rightful owners. But millions of pounds are still missing.

In fact, only last week, Perkins and the other three ringleaders responsible for the crime were subject to a confiscation hearing at Woolwich Crown Court that ended on Tuesday. The four men were found to have jointly obtained the whole of the proceeds of the burglary and were therefore ordered to pay back £8.2 million or risk having seven years added to their existing prison sentences. The court ruled that Perkins, John Collins, Daniel Jones and Brian Reader still had available to them £6,447,079.50 of property derived from the burglary, plus personally owned assets that have been identified following an investigation by the Met’s criminal finance team and the Flying Squad, working in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service.

According to his lawyer, Perkins, who was said to be suffering from severe heart failure, was expecting to have to serve the additional sentence because, apart from the potential sale value of a £72,000 flat in Portugal, he had “no prospect of any further funds”. Small consolation for Kjeld Jacobsen and the other victims of the Hatton Garden raid.

Insuring your safe-deposit box

As always, we remind you that safety deposit boxes can and should be insured for total peace of mind. My Security Box is the UK’s leading provider of safe deposit box insurance and our tailor-made insurance policies are specific to your box and its contents – so any payout will be made directly to you and not via the safe deposit facility. Some of our policies also include Fidelity Cover, which means you are covered even in the event of theft or negligence by facility owners or staff members. For further information about security box insurance please contact us or visit any page of our main website for an instant online quote.