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Jewel thieves hit London store

Updated on: 12 August,2009 07:58 AM IST  | 
Agencies |

Steal valuables worth Rs 316 crore

Jewel thieves hit London store

Steal valuables worth Rs 316 crore

Security camera footage released by police shows two men in crisp suits entering Graff Diamonds' flagship store on Thursday afternoon. It was the third time a Graff store in London had been targeted in a high-profile raid in the past six years.

The men fired two gunshots into the ground as they escaped in a series of getaway cars, police said. No one was hurt.

Items stolen included a pair of white diamond double hoop earrings, a flowing flower necklace with yellow diamond petals, a platinum white Marquise diamond ring and a Chronograff watch.
It was among the biggest heists in British history far outstripping the 1963 Great Train Robbery in which u00a32 million were lost.

Last week's theft, however, was topped by the 2006 robbery of u00a353 million (Rs 419 crore) in cash from a security company depot in southern England, and was rivaled by the 1987 theft of an estimated u00a340 million from the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Center in London.

Police declined to rank Thursday's robbery, saying only that it was one of the country's biggest.

Graff's store, a classical stucco and stone town house in London's jewellery district, has been targeted by thieves in the past.

Not the 1st time

The same store lost jewelry worth u00a323 million (Rs 182 crore) in 2003 when it was robbed by jewel thief Nebojsa Denic, a Serb and a member of the notorious gang of Balkan robbers known as the Pink Panthers.

Denic was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

In 2007, another smartly dressed pair was chauffeured to the store's Sloane Street branch in a Bentley Continental Flying Spur.

They whipped out handguns and made off with u00a310 million (Rs 79 crore) worth of gems.

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