London Police Make Arrest in Jewelry Heist

By: Raphael G. Sattler AP Email
By: Raphael G. Sattler AP Email

LONDON (AP) - Police said Wednesday they have arrested a suspect
in connection with a daring daytime heist that netted $65 million worth of jewelry from a prominent London diamond merchant last week.

Police said the 50-year-old man, who was subsequently released on bail, is not one of two dapper dressers captured in security camera footage released by Scotland Yard on Tuesday. The footage showed two men in smart suits being let into Graff Diamonds flagship store, where police say they produced guns, briefly took a member of staff hostage and escaped in a series of getaway cars across central London.

Police believe at least two others helped the pair escape. No one was hurt in the robbery, one of the biggest in British history.

British authorities seldom release suspects' names until they are charged.

Amateur video shot outside the store appeared to capture the men's escape and screaming shoppers as a warning shot is fired into the ground.

Police said the men made off with dozens of high-end rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches with a retail value of 40 million pounds, or $65 million. A full list of the 43 pilfered items was made public Wednesday: Among the jewels was a flowing flower necklace made from 272 separate diamonds and a lavish pair of triple-hoop earrings bearing no fewer than 216 gemstones.

Although the man was arrested Monday, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said police kept news of his capture secret until now
for "operational reasons." She spoke on condition of anonymity in
keeping with department policy. Police declined to say what amount
they set as bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Pam Mace told reporters that the robbers were "extremely dangerous."

She appealed for information about the heist, saying the men "would undoubtedly have spoken about it beforehand or boasted about it afterwards."


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