The Great Diamond Jewellery Heist of 2009

You would be forgiven for thinking that a title like the one of this article belongs nowhere but in the realms of legend, however on the 6th of August 2009, the biggest diamond jewellery raid in history took place in London’s Mayfair. Two armed robbers pointed handguns at staff in specialist diamond jewellers Graff on New Bond Street. They made off with £40 million worth of jewellery including rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches encrusted with around 1,437 diamonds.

The men, dressed in smart suits and wearing latex masks to disguise their identities, stole several items of diamond jewellery including a platinum and gold flower necklace embedded with 268 diamonds, as well as a number of yellow diamond rings. They briefly took a woman hostage while exiting the store and then fired warning shots in to the ground when security guards attempted to chase them. They made their getaway using three cars.

In an age when criminals no longer need to leave the building to swindle large sums of money, there is something rather old-fashioned about a real-life diamond jewellery heist that has captured the public’s imagination. Gun crime these days usually involves gangs and teenagers – never anything as far-fetched as diamond jewellery theft.

Diamond robberies have forever been glamourised by the film industry, with audiences from around the globe watching the likes of Michael Caine and Brad Pitt outwitting their counterparts with elaborate schemes, to get their hands on £millions worth of diamond jewellery. In fact stories like this one have formed the basis for many narratives on the silver screen.

So what’s the appeal? Why does Hollywood persist in churning out movies about hardened criminals in diamond jewellery theft-related activities? Perhaps it’s because there is a strong contingent among us who are secretly impressed? Holding up a diamond jewellers in broad daylight is no easy feat and thus, we are rewarded in the movies by the skill and imagination employed by the robbers.

This latest incident has rocked the jewellery industry due to the fact that for the store in question, it involved an intricate plan that was not confined to a cinema screen. It has had a very real impact on a real victim and begs the question, should the film industry support criminals such as the ones involved, by painting them as heroes?

This extraordinary event has not yet had the Hollywood treatment, but when it does is sure to be a hit with audiences worldwide, and the tale has yet to fully unfold. The Great Diamond Jewellery Heist of 2009 will surely be coming to a cinema near you very soon, for the meantime we can keep track of any developments in the news.