Police Didn’t Respond to Alarm in $300m London Heist

Police Didn’t Respond to Alarm in $300m London Heist Police Didn’t Respond to Alarm in $300m London Heist

British police investigating a spectacular heist in the heart of London’s jewelry district said Friday they knew a burglar alarm went off but didn’t respond.

Southern Monitoring Alarm Company called the Metropolitan Police Service, also known as Scotland Yard, at 12:21 a.m. April 3 to report that the burglar alarm had been activated at Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd., MPS said in a prepared statement.

“The call was recorded and transferred to the police’s CAD (computer-aided dispatch) system,” the statement said. “A grade was applied to the call that meant that no police response was deemed to be required. We are now investigating why this grade was applied to the call. This investigation is being carried out locally.

“It is too early to say if the handling of the call would have had an impact on the outcome of the incident.”

The theft was so big that police haven’t come up with a value for what was stolen, CNN reported.

Over the four-day Easter holiday, an unknown number of thieves broke into the vault of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd. and might have been able to take as long as four days to rifle through the boxes.

A former police official in London has speculated that the loss could run to £200 million, or $300 million, in a remark widely reported by news media. Numerous British news organizations put the value of the loss in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson of the London Metropolitan Police Flying Squad said police were still identifying the owners of

ransacked safe deposit boxes

Police said Thursday there was no sign of forced entry. Johnson said the thieves appeared to have gained access to the vault through the shaft of an elevator that is used by several businesses in the building.

The thieves disabled the elevator on the second floor of the building -- which would be called the third floor in the United States -- then climbed down the elevator shaft into the basement, he said.

Once there, he said, they used a drill to bore through a 6-foot-thick wall and gain access to the vault where the safe deposit boxes were.