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LONDON (AP) — The thieves who broke into a safe deposit in London's diamond district seemed to have pulled off the perfect jewel heist--until today when more than 200 Scotland Yard officers closed in on them.
The nine arrests are a triumph for embattled detectives whose early work had been criticized. Police failed to respond to a midnight alarm at the start of Easter weekend. That gave the thieves more than 48 hours to carefully remove the contents of the safe used by jewelers in the Hatton Garden district.
Scotland Yard says the suspects are all British men between ages 43 and 76. They were questioned in a London police station after coordinated morning raids in northern London and the southeastern district of Kent.
Police officials say bags containing a significant amount of high-value property were recovered at one of the addresses, but they did not assign a value to the heist.
163-a-13-(Craig Turner, detective superintendent, London's Metropolitan Police Service, with reporters)-"has been recovered"-Craig Turner of the Metropolitan Police says more than 200 British police swooped in on suspected jewel thieves, detaining seven people in the notorious Hatton Garden jewelry heist. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air credit)) (19 May 2015)
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APPHOTO LON111: FILE - In this Tuesday, April 7, 2015 file photo, Police forensics officer enter the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company in London. More than 200 British police swooped down on suspected jewel thieves Tuesday, May 19, 2015, making arrests in the notorious Hatton Garden heist that took place in London over the Easter weekend. Scotland Yard said seven British men, ranging in age from 48 to 76, are being questioned in a London police station after the morning raids. The men were arrested in north London and in Kent, southeast of the city. (Dominic Lipinski/PA via AP, file) UNITED KINGDOM OUT - NO SALES - NO ARCHIVES (19 May 2015)
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