United Kingdom

Released video shows UK jewel thief swaps £4.2 mn of diamonds for pebbles

16:05, 29 July 2021
Released video shows UK jewel thief swaps £4.2 mn of diamonds for pebbles Photo: pixabay.com

UK Metropolitan police released a CCTV video showing a 60-year-old jewel thief Lulu Lakatos swapped diamonds worth £4.2 million for pebbles pretending to be a gem expert "Anna" at Mayfair store Boodles.

The woman was convicted to five-and-a-half years in prison for the biggest jewelry shop caper in British history, stealing seven diamonds, including £1.1 mln three-carat pink diamond. 

She arrived in London a day before the theft. Lakatos wearing a long dark coat, brimmed hat and long scarf pursuaded jewelry shop's staff she'd been sent to value the stones on behalf of supposed wealthy Russian buyers. 

Footage of the crime shows the moment Lakatos made the switch when she replaces the stones in a purse with a duplicate containing rocks when the seller went upstairs to take a call from the 'Russian purchaser.' 

After the switch, Boodles' gemmologist Emma Barton raised her concerns, and Lakatos' handbag was searched with no stones found inside letting her escape.

Once nabbing the gems she moved the stones into the handbag of two unknown women waiting outside in Ralph Lauren. The suspects were never found. Then the crook changed her clothes in a pub toilet near Victoria station before leaving London.

The real diamonds have never been recovered. Two other accomplices were jailed for three years and eight months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal.

"A woman whose sleight of hand played an integral role in a £4.2 million diamond heist has been jailed. The Met's Flying Squad pursued Lulu Lakatos and brought her to justice - she had been on the run since the theft in 2016," the police wrote.

Lulu Lakatos has three previous convictions for theft in France.

She was arrested in France in September last year while kept blaming her younger sister Liliana who died at a car crash. Before the accident Liliana Lukatos was wanted in Switzerland for an almost identical plot, where an envelope containing 400,000 euros was switched for a duplicate filled with paper.