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Hatton Garden theft: Full timeline of one of the biggest jewel raids in history

The full timeline of how the jewel thieves tried, and failed, to pull off one of the most audacious burglaries in history

Siobhan Fenton
Thursday 14 January 2016 17:39 GMT
The sign outside the Hatton Garden safe deposit centre
The sign outside the Hatton Garden safe deposit centre (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The Hatton Garden jewellery heist was remarkable for its old-fashioned simplicity and brazen audacity.

A gang of at least seven men boldly took £14m worth of gems and jewels from supposedly secure vaults at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd after ransacking 56 safe deposit boxes in April of last year.

Three men were today found guilty on charges relating to involvement with the heist, namely Carl Wood, William Lincoln and Hugh Doyle.

Their sentencing follows confessions from Daniel Jones, John Collins, Terry Perkins and Brian Reader of conspiracy to commit burglary.

Over the course of the trial, the court heard how the crime involved a three year plan, a six week hunt and now some very lengthy jail sentences.

This is a timeline of how the men tried, and failed, to pull off one of the most audacious heists in modern times:

:: August 2012 One of the ringleaders, Daniel Jones, carries out internet searches for drills.

:: May 2014 Jones's searches become focused on the Hilti DD 350 drill, which was later to be used to bore into the vault.

The tunnel leading into the vault at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company in London (Metropolitan Police)

:: January 16 2015 Jones, Terry Perkins and John Collins meet at The Castle pub in Islington, north London.

The pub becomes a regular spot for the men to meet and plan the raid.

:: Late January 2015 Hatton Garden jeweller Lionel Wiffen starts to feel as if he is being watched by people sitting in cars around 88-90 Hatton Garden.

:: February 13 2015 Perkins's blue Citroen Saxo is located in the vicinity of Hatton Garden, shortly after he meets with Jones at The Castle pub.

Police were initally baffled when the safety deposit boxes were raided at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd (EPA)

:: February 14 2015 Perkins visits London City Metals, where it is alleged the gang planned to dispose of some of the stolen goods.

:: Between mid-February and late March 2015 the conspirators met a number of times and carried out reconnaissance around Hatton Garden Safe Deposit.

:: March 31 2015 A visitor at 88-90 Hatton Garden notices a problem with the lift when she has to wait longer than usual.

When the lift finally arrives, there is a 60-year-old man with white hair - who fits Perkins's description - wearing blue overalls, standing inside.

He is surrounded by tools and equipment and smiles at the visitor because there is no room for her.

Lift (ground floor) with out of order sign (Metropolitan Police)

:: April 2 2015 Brian Reader uses an Oyster Freedom Pass belonging to somebody else to board the 96 bus from Dartford, and then exits Waterloo East station, before boarding the 55 bus which took him within five minutes of Hatton Garden.

:: April 2 to 5 2015 The burglary takes place, with the remaining members fleeing the scene in a white transit van.

:: April 5 to 6 2015 Over this time the conspirators split up and hid the stolen goods in wheelie bins and holdalls.

:: April 7 2015 The burglary is discovered when security guards arrive at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit.

Jewellery recovered from Edmonton Cemetery (Metropolitan Police)

:: Up to mid-May The “ringleaders” continue to meet at The Castle pub, and plan to transfer the stolen goods to an address in Sterling Road, Enfield.

By this time they are subject to visual surveillance by police.

:: May 14 onwards Detectives place covert audio recording devices in Collins's white Mercedes and Perkins's blue Citroen Saxo.

The probes capture the men boasting about pulling off the biggest burglary in English history, and how the loot will be distributed.

:: May 16 2015 Jones is seen pulling a large plastic bucket into the Sterling Road address. This is later found to be full of jewels.

Jewellery recovered from Edmonton Cemetery (Metropolitan Police)

:: May 17 2015 Collins suggests using the car park outside Hugh Doyle's workshop - by the Old Wheatsheaf pub in Enfield - to exchange the stolen goods so that they would not be seen by the police.

:: May 18 2015 Jones and Perkins are recorded moving bins into Jones's driveway. Collins visits Doyle's workshop.

:: May 19 2015 Taxi driver Jon Harbinson allegedly drives the stolen goods to the car park next to the Old Wheatsheaf pub and Doyle's workshop.

William Lincoln, Jones and Collins are then said to have transferred the stolen items from the taxi into Collins's Mercedes. Jones and Perkins join Collins at Sterling Road.

Police raid the address, the loot is seized and the men are arrested.

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of (front row left to right) Paul Reeder, William Lincoln, John Collins, Brian Reeder and Hugh Doyle, (back row left to right) Daniel Jones, Terry Perkins (obscured) and Carl Wood (PA/Elizabeth Cook)

:: September 4 2015 Reader, Perkins, Jones and Collins plead guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. Jones later promised to lead police to his stash.

:: October 8 2015 After police search a cemetery in Edmonton, they discover two bags stuffed with jewels under memorial stones connected to Jones's partner's family.

:: October 15 2015 Jones is escorted out of Belmarsh so that he can lead officers to where he says he has hidden his share of the stolen goods.

He is unaware of what the police have already found. He leads police to a second plot in the same cemetery where he had buried a smaller stash under the memorial stone of another of his children's relatives.

From left: Carl Wood, William Lincoln, Jon Harbinson and Hugh Doyle (Priscilla Coleman/MB Media)

:: November 23 2015 Carl Wood, Harbinson, William Lincoln and Doyle go on trial at Woolwich Crown Court accused of being involved in the raid.

Harbinson, 42, of Beresford Gardens, Benfleet, Essex, was cleared of the two offences. His defence was that he did not know what was in the bags.

With additional reporting by Press Association

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