Expertise Events
advertisement
Expertise Events
advertisement
Expertise Events
advertisement
Goto your account
Search Stories by: 
and/or
 

News












A central figure in the audacious theft of seven diamonds from luxury London jeweller Boodles has been jailed for more than five years.
A central figure in the audacious theft of seven diamonds from luxury London jeweller Boodles has been jailed for more than five years.

European jewel thief convicted over $8 million London diamond heist

A 60-year-old woman has been found guilty of conspiracy to steal in relation to the 2016 theft of seven diamonds – valued at £4.2 million ($AU7.89 million) – from a jewellery store in London's Mayfair.

Acting as part of an “international organised gang”, Romanian-born French citizen Lulu Lakatos posed as a gemmologist, representing a wealthy Russian buyer, in order to gain access to a secure area inside the Boodles store on New Bond Street.

"This was an audacious theft, carried out in plain view of experienced and professional staff at a renowned jewellers"
Acting Detective Sergeant William Man, Metropolitan Police

Lakatos was permitted to inspect the stones – including a 20-carat heart-shaped diamond valued at more than £2.2 million ($AU4.1 million) – accompanied by a senior Boodles staff member.

The diamonds were then placed into a locked bag. Against instructions, Lakatos then placed this bag into her own handbag; when challenged, she used the apparent French-English language barrier as a delay tactic, before apparently reproducing the diamond bag and handing it back to staff.

However, the bag returned by Lakatos was later found to be a duplicate containing garden pebbles.

Acting Detective Sergeant William Man, of the UK’s Metropolitan Police, said, “This was an audacious theft, carried out in plain view of experienced and professional staff at a renowned jewellers.

“The meticulous planning and execution of this theft reveals to me that those involved were highly skilled criminals.”

Indeed, the heist had been planned over a number of weeks, with members of the gang posing as employees of the ‘Russian buyer’ in order to create a veneer of credibility and schedule the in-person inspection.

London’s Southwark Crown Court heard that Boodles chairman Nicholas Wainwright had even met the apparent buyer, identified only as ‘Alexander’, while in Monaco.

Two men and two women waited for Lakatos outside the Boodles store and upon leaving the premises, Lakatos handed the bag to one of the women before the gang members left separately.

Lulu Lakatos, aged 60, stole seven diamonds from Boodles, an iconic luxury Mayfair jeweller
Lulu Lakatos, aged 60, stole seven diamonds from Boodles, an iconic luxury Mayfair jeweller

Lakatos changed her clothing and immediately boarded a Eurostar train back to France.

The following day, concerned Boodles staff had the duplicate bag X-rayed and, sensing irregularities, opened it and discovered the ruse.

Following a years-long investigation, Lakatos was identified and arrested in France last year before being extradited to the UK on 3 December 2020.

She was found guilty on 28 July 2021 and sentenced to five years and six months' imprisonment, with Acting Detective Sergeant Man saying, “Due to the tenacious police work... involving painstaking analysis of a vast amount of evidence, we have managed to identify Lakatos and bring her to justice.”

During the course of the trial, Lakatos pleaded not guilty and claimed her sister Liliana Lakatos, who passed away in a car accident in October 2019, had confessed to carrying out the crime after stealing her passport.

Liliana Lakatos reportedly had previous convictions for theft, and at the time of her death was wanted in Switzerland over a similar plot, during which an envelope containing €400,000 was switched for a duplicate filled with paper.

Two men have also been convicted of conspiracy to steal in relation to the Boodles theft; a woman who accompanied Lakatos into the UK has been found not guilty, and two other women remain unidentified.

The diamonds have not been recovered and investigations continue.
 

WATCH VIDEO


More reading:
Pink Panthers: Europe's mysterious gang of thieves
Man sentenced in relation to $50 million diamonds heist
$150 million jewellery heist











Ellendale Diamonds Australia
advertisement





Read current issue

login to my account
Username: Password:
Riacetech
advertisement
Expertise Events
advertisement
Expertise Events
advertisement
© 2023 Befindan Media