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Security Horror Stories

Security Horror Stories

As it is spooky Halloween this week, we thought we would have a look at some of the famous (or infamous) bank robbery security horror stories.

The Hatton Garden Heist

Probably the most well known of all the robberies in the UK, The Hatton Garden Heist saw an estimated £14m of gold bullion, jewels, diamonds and cash stolen from a vault encased in concrete behind a huge combination locked safe door.

The elderly group of robbers thought they committed the perfect crime, leaving no fingerprints and taking the hard drives from the computers that recorded and stored any CCTV footage.

But it turns out that they weren’t quite as clever as they thought they were.

As the gang of robbers used ‘old school’ methods, they hadn’t taken into account the ‘new school’ modern policing methods.

As they didn’t change vehicles that were used during the robbery, ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras easily identified them travelling about the city.

If they had changed vehicles or even just changed number plates this would have made it a lot harder for them to be caught.

Although they thought that by removing the hard drives of CCTV systems in the building, they would get away scot free, it hadn’t occurred to them that other CCTV Cameras around the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Building would have recorded them.

The Securitas Depot Robbery

In 2006 an estimated 53 million pounds was loaded into the back of a seven-tonne lorry at a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.
How on earth did this happen?

The Securitas depot manager, Colin Dixon, his wife and child were kidnapped at gunpoint by men impersonating police officers.

They were then interrogated and taken to the Securitas depot in Tonbridge, where they were tied up along with fourteen members of staff.

They managed to load 53 million pounds into the lorry and actually had to leave another 153 million behind because they ran out of space…

CCTV footage taken from the crime scene recorded the robbery and showed that the robbers were armed with several weapons. Including a machine pistol, pump-action shotgun, handgun and an AK47 assault rifle, and were wearing masks.

In 2008, five men were imprisoned for the robbery, although the police recovered some of the stolen money, 32 of the 53 million pounds is still unaccounted for.

the image shows an ANPR CCTV camera watching cars on a road

The London Graff Jewellers Robbery

In 2009 an estimated 40 million pounds worth of jewellery was stolen from Graff Jewellers. The store was doubly unlucky as in 2003 they had been victim to another robbery, losing 23 million pounds worth of jewels.

two men in suits and wearing disguises walked into the store after security guards allowed them through as they looked respectable.
However, the two men then took out two guns and ordered staff to lie on the ground.

Then they managed to fill a bag with 43 different items of very expensive jewellery into a bag.

They made their escape in a stolen BMW car and drove away before crashing into a taxi. The bag with the stolen jewels was then handed to a waiting motorcyclist, the two robbers then got into a Mercedes and made their getaway.

Cleverly, they used a van and a truck were to hold up traffic. Not so cleverly, just like the Hatton Garden Heist robbers, they had failed to notice that CCTV cameras in the surrounding area would be filming them.

In 2010, using CCTV footage as part of the evidence against them, four men were convicted of conspiracy to rob and one of the men faced additional charges of kidnapping and carrying firearms offences.

The Northern Bank Robbery

In 2004, £26.5 million pounds was stolen from the Northern Bank in Northern Ireland. It was the biggest robbery in British history at the time.

A gang of robbers took two families hostage in Belfast and County Down. They then forced two Northern Bank employees to bring the money to them.

At the time, the police tried to blame the IRA, but the IRA strongly denied being involved at all.

As we are typing this now, to this day, the robbers are still unidentified and there has not been even one conviction of anyone with direct involvement in the robbery.

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