First arrest made after £40 million jewel heist

A 50-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the £40 million armed robbery at a Mayfair jewellers – Britain’s biggest ever jewel heist.





The man was arrested at an address in Illford, east London, on Monday, four days after the robbery, which took place at the Graff Diamond jewellers on New Bond Street at 4.40pm on Thursday.



The man, who has since been released on bail, is not one of the two men in the CCTV footage released by the Metropolitan Police. A police source described him as a “minor player”.



His arrest was announced this afternoon at the same time police revealed they had searched “ a number of addresses” in relation to the inquiry. A statement said that police are not prepared to discuss what officers found or where the searches had taken place.



This morning mobile phone footage emerged which showed the moment that two men escaped with their haul. The video was taken by a man who just happened to be filming on New Bond Street at the time the robbery happened.



In the video the two suited suspects are clearly seen leaving the store. A man's voice shouts "call the police" before a gunshot is fired and screams are heard.



The footage then distorts and re-starts with a woman talking. a man reassures her: "They are gone, they are gone. Calm down, calm down."



Later a loud voice, possibly a policeman, is heard shouting to passers-by: "Do you just want to make your way down the road, please?"



The men stole 43 pieces of jewellery in two minutes before taking a female staff member hostage to make their escape.



Their haul included a pair of white, round, diamond double-hoop earrings, a yellow diamond flower necklace, a platinum white Marquise diamond ring and a Chronograph men's 45mm watch.



Once outside, they fired a warning shot into the ground before fleeing in a blue BMW. Police say they then drove to Old Bond Street before abandoning their car in Dover Street when it collided with a taxi.



They changed cars, firing another gunshot into the ground as they were chased by members of the public, getting into a silver Mercedes which they drove through Berkeley Square, before changing vehicles again in Farm Street – this time into a Ford Galaxy or Volkswagen Sharan.



Yesterday, the Metropolitan Police issued a CCTV image of the pair arriving at the store and warned that they were “extremely dangerous”.



Detectives from the Flying Squad believe they are looking for at least five men, including a motorbike rider who was given a package by the two men when they were in the BMW, and two other men who were getaway drivers. Detective Chief Inspector Pam Mace said: "This was a well-planned robbery with a number of vehicles used to help the robbers escape.



"These men are extremely dangerous and fired at least two shots in busy London streets as they made their getaway. Someone knows who these men are, they would undoubtedly have spoken about it beforehand or boasted about it afterwards. I would urge anyone who recognises them, knows the whereabouts of the jewellery or has any other information to contact us."



The £40m haul beats the previous record of £30m of goods taken from a Cartier workshop in 1997. Graff in Mayfair also fell victim to a £23m heist in 2003 and the Graff store in Sloane Square was robbed in 2007, when two armed robbers arrived in a chauffer-driven Bentley and threatened staff.



In last week's raid, detectives believe the men targeted the most expensive items. One officer said: "They knew exactly what they were looking for and we suspect they already have a market for the jewels. "



The suspects' details have been circulated to all ports and airports but police believe they would have organised an escape route and may have already left the country.



The first suspect is described as white, about 30 years old, with a slim build, dark hair, light stubble and between 5ft10in and 6ft tall. His accomplice is black, in his 30s, 6ft tall, more well built and with short Afro hair. It is believed they spoke with London accents. A spokeswoman for Graff refused to comment on the robbery.

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam