Run the jewels: The thieves used a heavy duty drill to bore holes into the vault wall. Photo: London Metropolitan Police
British police have released new images showing the extraordinary lengths the Hatton Garden burglars went to in their lucrative heist over the Easter weekend.
The team of robbers raided a safety deposit business in the vault of a London building, making off with a reported £60 million ($A116 million) worth of precious stones and jewellery.
Police believe they entered the premises through a side door on the night before Good Friday.
The building houses several businesses who share an entrance. Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd was in the basement.
The robbers disabled the communal lift on the second floor then used the lift shaft to climb down into the basement from the ground floor. They forced open shutter doors into the basement where Hatton Garden Safety Deposit is located, then made their way to the vault
A total of 72 safety deposit boxes were opened, out of 999 boxes in the vault. Of these, seven were vacant, and 11 were due to be drilled out for non-payment of fees, police said.
The thieves used a heavy duty drill – a Hilti DD350 – to bore holes into the vault wall. The wall is half a metre thick and made of re-enforced concrete.
They then used wheelie bins to move the jewels to their white getaway van.
The suspects dressed as construction workers and gas workers, and timed the raid over the Easter long weekend, entering on Thursday night and leaving on Easter Sunday.
It later emerged that an alarm at the premises set off on Good Friday was ignored by police.
Drilling was heard by neighbours but didn’t lead to any investigation.
Police have so far made no arrests.