Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

£4.2 Million Diamond Thief Only Required To Repay £250

Now that’s what I call a profit!

Credit: Metropolitan Police

In March 2016, diamond thief Lulu Lakatos stole £4.2 million worth of diamonds. Now, she’s only being asked to pay back £245.

Lakatos, a 60-year-old from Saint-Brieuc, France, is no stranger to theft. But this crime—being hailed as ‘the most expensive [theft] of its kind ever committed in the UK,’ took it to another level.

In total, Lakatos stole seven stones. Amongst the theft, Lakatos stole one solely worth £2.2 million. The unlucky victim was Boodles, a luxury jewellery store in Mayfair, London.

How did Lakatos steal the diamonds?

Lakatos’ plot (worthy of a movie adaptation, really) required her to pose as a valuation expert (‘Anna’ was her fake name) acting on behalf of a wealthy Russian client.

As you can imagine diamonds of this value, were supposed to be kept in a padlocked purse, held in New Bond Street’s vault until the money was transferred. But, caught on CCTV, Lakatos can be seen dropping the purse into her bag, then replacing it with a fake duplicate. The whole switch took mere seconds.

Credit: Metropolitan Police

But how did she swap the purses without anyone noticing? Well, for a few seconds, the boss of Boodles, Nicholas Wainwright has left her alone to take a phone call. The phone call? To Lakatos’ accomplice, the fake Russian buyer, ‘Alexander.’ Wainwright had met ‘Alexander’ just the day before over lunch at the Hotel Metropole. This gave Lakatos the perfect opportunity to swipe the diamonds.

Once they’d gotten the diamonds, Lakatos and her associates fled the country for France.

When did Boodles notice the crime?

The first note of suspicion was raised by Emma Barton, Boodles’ diamond expert. Whilst Lakatos was still there, her bag was searched, but they found nothing. In retrospect, it looks likely the diamonds were hidden in a secret compartment.

Credit: Metropolitan Police

The alarm was only rung the next day when the duplicate purse at Boodles was open. Instead of the £4.2 million worth of diamonds, there were only a few pebbles.

But by then, Lakatos was long gone.

What happened to diamond thief Lakatos?

The diamonds Lakatos stole were never actually recovered. But Lakatos was eventually caught. CCTV showed her stealing the diamonds and leaving with them.

In July 2021, the diamond thief stood trial in the UK and was convicted by a jury majority of 10.

Lakatos’ defence was as wild as her crime. She suggested that she hadn’t committed her crime, but her sister had, unlawfully using her passport. Lakatos’ sister, Liliana, had told Lakatos this just months before being killed in a car crash in October of 2019.

The jury wasn’t convinced.

Nor was the judge, Emma Goodall QC, who had this to say when sentencing Lakatos:

‘This was a highly sophisticated and audacious offence in terms of planning, risk and reward, an offence in respect of which you played an integral role.’

Credit: Metropolitan Police

Lakatos was given five-and-a-half years in prison and was ordered to pay back £250, which was taken from her upon arrest.

The judge gave a reason for this amount, considering how comparatively low it was.

‘As far as the figures are concerned there is a striking contrast between the benefit figure of £4,299,671 and the available assets of 293 euros and 57 cents.’

It’s likely that Lakatos will be extradited to France, where she faces numerous other convictions.

Though she might have been an Ocean’s Eleven style master of sleight of hand, she did get caught in the end—unlike Banksy, who still manages to never get caught. How do they do it?  

Written By

Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

The plant in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou is the largest in the world, assembling the greatest number of iPhones than any other factory.

News

Saudi Arabia beat Argentina in a shock 2-1 defeat dubbed one of the tournament's greatest upsets of all time.

News

Killer still on the loose as police continue to conceal details to the Idaho Murders.

News

An exclusive interview with Marius Lien, founder of Norweigian football magazine, Josimar.

Climate

Peter Parkour, your friendly neighbourhood climate activist.

Climate

An earthquake with a 5.6 magnitude struck the main Indonesian island of Java on Monday, the 21st of November.

News

Bridge collapse in India causes catastrophe and leaves hundreds dead.

News

"First the evidence of the Crown Prince's involvement in Jamal Khashoggi's murder was disregarded by President Trump, then President Biden's fist bump – it...

News

Iran has voted pro executing the protestors involved in the Women Life Freedom protests.

News

MMA events are to be streamed in the Metaverse virtual reality world.