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Gang drilled into basement before escaping through sewers in £420,000 gem heist


The shop was targeted from below, where thieves dug a hole (Picture: Wire)

The shop was targeted from below, where thieves dug a hole (Picture: Wire)

A famed Roman jeweller had £420,000 worth of gems snatched from their store in Italy after a gang of thieves escaped through sewers below their store.

Bulgari’s store on Via Condotti, Rome, was targeted overnight on Saturday in a Hollywood-style heist as criminals drilled into the shop’s basement.

The gang, estimated to comprise of 3-5 masked burglars, had barricaded a side door which police tried to use to enter the building.

Watches and jewelry from the display cabinets were snatched, triggering a silent alarm which alerted a security firm, then police.

Officers arrived within minutes, but it took them nearly five minutes to break down the door that the criminals had barricaded.

The thieves could be heard yelling ‘Let’s go, let’s go,’ one investigator told local media La Repubblica.

The shop is on one of Rome’s famed high streets (Picture: EPA)

The thieves left behind a crowbar before escaping into Rome’s ancient sewers, with police unable to catch up.

Marco Placidi, head of Sotterranei di Roma, a group which explores Rome’s underground tunnels, told The Times: ‘The centre of Rome is criss-crossed by sewer tunnels that date back to the Roman era and are still in use.

‘They are large enough to walk in and, if it’s not raining, there is no more than 10cm of water in them. They are not totally mapped so it is hard to know where the robbers went.’

Italian police suspect the group may have posed as customers before the heist to get an idea of the shop’s layout.

Police were seen by the shop early this week (Picture: EPA)

The group may also be tied to criminals who have previously dug tunnels to break into establishments such as banks across Rome.

Romolo Guasco, the head of Confcommercio, an association of retailers, said: ‘We express deep concern after the latest theft from a jewellers. We need better surveillance and greater prevention.’

Bulgari first opened his luxury chain in 1884, and the brand is still favoured by celebrities around the world.

Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and other starlets have worn the jewels over the last century.

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Source:: Metro

      

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