Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Graff Jewel Heist, Dalrymple Dangles £1 Million Reward !!!

A reward of £1 million has been offered in the hunt for the robbers behind Britain's biggest jewellery heist at Graff's in London's Mayfair.

The insurers, Tyler and Company, have put up the large sum for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the robbers and the recovery of the £40 million worth of stolen items.

Det Ch Insp Pam Mace, of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, said: "I think this is the biggest reward ever been offered for a crime of this type and I'm directing my appeal at people, and that includes criminal associates, who know who these robbers are and where they are."

On Thursday detectives disclosed that they had recovered a loaded gun connected to the robbery, in a potentially significant breakthrough. It was not one of the two handguns used in the actual raid but it is being tested for DNA samples and its links to any previous shootings.

The detective said: "Everytime we uncover new information that takes out inquiry forward. Several lines of inquiry are ongoing but I am happy with the way it is progressing."

After the biggest ever cash robbery in Britain - a £53 million heist on a Securitas depot in Kent - an unprecedented £2m reward was offered. In the coming days, police managed to locate millions of pounds stashed in locations across Kent and south-east London.

Detectives are still trying to trace two of the three getaway cars used in relay by the robbers to escape central London.

It emerged earlier this week that the robbers hired a make-up artist to give them latex disguises just hours before they carried out the raid.

An unsuspecting 29-year-old artist, who notified police and may now be put under the witness protection programme, giving him a new identity, altered the suspect's hair colour and skin tone in a four-hour session. He had been led to believe they were appearing in a pop video and was told to make them look older.

The two men changed into suits and left the studio before taxing a black cab to Graff's, where it is believed they had set up an appointment under a false name. They stole 43 items of jewellery, encrusted with almost 1,500 diamonds, and fired warning shots as they left, having briefly taken a female employee hostage.

Forensic officers have seized items including hairbrushes, gowns and bank notes from a studio in central London to try to find DNA samples.

Investigators are still trawling through hundreds of hours of CCTV footage to piece together the robbers' exact escape route.

They are looking for at least two accomplices who helped the men escape last Thursday.

It is suspected that the jewels were stolen to order and police are investigating whether an insider was involved.

Witnesses said the men had genuine London accents, despite the fact little was said and the robbery was over in under two minutes.

Detectives arrested and questioned a 50-year-old man in Ilford, east London, on Monday in connection with the robbery.

They suspect that the man, who has been released on bail, may have been involved in planning the raid, although he was not in the West End when it took place.

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