Tag Archive: gang

Gang of moped-enabled robbers jailed

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Four teenagers who committed moped-enabled robberies have been collectively sentenced to more than 13 years' imprisonment

The four teenagers were found guilty on 3 November of conspiracy to rob following a four week trial. The court heard how the robberies and attempted robberies took place between 2nd December 2016 and 9th March 2017.

Phones, wallets, handbags and laptops were stolen with threats of violence and on some occasions a knife was used. Six scooters were also stolen by the group with four of those taken from their owners by force.

The gang were caught by detectives from the Met's South Area Venice Investigation Team.

Following a robbery on 9 March, officers were able to use CCTV to track the gang's route to Kendal Close, Lambeth where the stolen vehicles were parked.

One member of the gang, a 15-year-old boy [A] was arrested by officers as he got on one of the scooters. At his home address they recovered a mobile phone stolen during a robbery in Westminster and a pair of bolt croppers. He was arrested that day on suspicion of robbery and released on bail.

A warrant was issued for a 16-year-old boy [B] and a search of his bedroom uncovered an Oyster card from a robbery on 6 March. He was arrested on his return to the address. His phone was seized, which revealed pictures of his accomplices wearing masks and clothes described by victims in the crimes. There was also an image of a masked person in his bedroom holding a knife. His DNA was also discovered on a scooter recovered after a theft in January.

This evidence led to Mairuf [D], who was found to have an Oyster card in her bedroom from a robbery on 23 February.

Another accomplice, a 16-year-old boy [C] was found to have the same clothes as worn in robberies on 6 March and had sent text messages to the other 16-year-old boy [B] about the stolen scooters.

Detective Constable Adam Barry said: "Police are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters, mopeds or motorbikes and then use them to commit crimes.

"These offenders rely on the unwariness of the public to commit their crimes. Therefore it is so important that the public remain vigilant at all times to protect their personal property.

"If anyone sees any suspicious activity or has any information about who is committing these crimes, please call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency call 999."

Landmark crackdown on Leeds drugs trade

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Prison sentences totalling more than 40 years have been handed down to ten men convicted as part of a landmark crackdown on the organised supply of heroin and cocaine in Leeds.

The men were arrested in a series of raids at addresses across the city in May this year as a result of an investigation by specialist officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit and West Yorkshire Police Protective Service Crime.

It followed months of painstaking work to gather detailed and comprehensive evidence on those involved in a number of ‘ring and bring’ drug dealing phone lines behind the supply of heroin and crack cocaine on the streets of the city.

Two further arrests phases in July and this month have seen more than forty other people arrested with the majority charged with drugs supply offences.

In this case the group were shown to have been behind a drugs phone line that put £127,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of Chapeltown and Harehills over a five-month period.

The line operated 24-hours a day, seven days a week and was known as ‘the Paranoid Pete line’ due to the lengths those running it would go to avoid detection.

Between October last year and March this year around 20,000 calls were made to the line resulting in around 5,000 drug deals.

It was estimated that around two kilograms of heroin and crack cocaine were sold as a result.

The operation was led by Shawn Campbell and Darren Duncan along with a third man who is still being sought by officers.

Campbell, aged 44, of Mexborough Street, Chapeltown, and Duncan, aged 42, of Halliday Mount, Armley, were each jailed for six years and four months for conspiring to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

Eight other men were jailed for drugs supply offences: Gabriel Byrne, aged 18, of Blenheim Avenue, Woodhouse, was sentenced to two years imprisonment; Anton Glasgow, aged 22, of Baldovan Terrace, Harehills, was jailed for five years and eight months; Tyrone Mitcham, aged 30, of Harland Square, Woodhouse, was sentenced to four years and four months custody; Tristan Brennan, aged 35, of Spencer Place, Chapeltown, was sentenced to five years and eight months; Shane Dunwell, aged 26, of Alderton Heights, Moortown, was jailed for three years and eight months; Yannick Ntantu, aged 20, of Lea Farm Road, Hawksworth, was sentence to two years and two months; Vincent Heaney, aged 47, of Trafford Terrace, Harehills, was jailed for two years and three months; Colin Liburd, age 46, of Bayswater Row, Harehills, was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Six other men convicted in the case are due to be sentenced a future dates.

Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “These men each played their part in an organised illegal drugs operation that put thousands of pounds worth of heroin and crack cocaine onto the streets of the city.

“Sadly we know only too well the human misery that these drugs cause, not just to the individuals who take them but to countless others in the wider community who suffer as a result of drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour.

“These men were brought to justice as part of a major crackdown on the supply of Class A drugs in the city, which was led by officers from Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit and specialist officers from our Protective Services Crime team.

“Those officers have been involved in more than a year’s worth of painstaking investigative work to build up a comprehensive evidence picture around these and other individuals who are yet to be dealt with at court following further arrest phases.

“The indisputable strength of the evidence that their work has produced has seen the defendants in this case left with no realistic option but to offer guilty pleas. We hope the significant sentences they have received will serve to reassure the community and send a very clear message to others who think they can get away with profiting from the organised supply of drugs.

“This landmark operation also targets the intrinsic link between the drugs trade and the criminal use of firearms. We have seen a number of discharges in the city which have been linked to feuds or turf wars between known criminal factions linked to the drugs market.

“Information from the community has a vital role to play in the success of this work and we would urge anyone who knows anything that could assist us to get in touch, anonymously if needed via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Ringleader of gang who laundered over £107 million stripped of assets

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The ringleader of a gang, who laundered more than £107m of underworld cash through their London bureaux de change, has been stripped of property in the UK, France, Sri Lanka and India to repay his criminal income.

Ramanathan Thayaparan, 45, was jailed for nine years in May 2014 after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed organised crime associates would queue with unsuspecting tourists to convert bags of dirty money into easy concealable €500 notes at the bureaux de change.

For a fee the gang, led by Thayaparan, who was supposed to be the business’s designated money laundering reporting officer, turned a blind eye to strict regulations governing checks on the source of cash at their two Victoria foreign exchange outlets.

The fraud allowed Thayaparan to build a £1.3m property portfolio comprising homes in London, Paris, Chennai in India, and land in Sri Lanka. But yesterday, the conman was moved from his prison cell and put back before a judge to be stripped of his assets.

Nicol Sheppard, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The message from the hearing couldn’t be clearer: abuse your position to launder money and we’ll lock you up.

“Thayaparan exploited his role to line his pockets, but we left no stone unturned in picking apart his finances and identifying his assets – even those offshore. Money laundering is a serious offence and people like Thayaparan and his associates sustain organised criminals by legitimising their ill-gotten gains.

“We relentlessly pursue those engaging in money laundering, ensuring they face the full force of the law, and I urge anyone with information about those involved to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

And Sian Davies, from CPS Proceeds of Crime, said: “Ramanathan Thayaparan was prosecuted and jailed for his part in a calculated scheme to launder large amounts of cash through a London money exchange.

“The CPS’s work did not stop at conviction and we worked closely with HMRC to restrain and confiscate his assets in order to recover as much money as possible for the taxpayer.

“We are determined that criminals will not feel the benefit of their offending.”

At Southwark Crown Court on 28 September 2017, His Honour Judge Marc Dight made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 requiring Thayaparan to pay back £1,382,707 within three months, or face a further seven and a half years in prison.

His accomplices, Thillainathan Kumarathas, serving a five-year sentence, and Dinesh Kumar Anandan, who has served a two-year sentence, were ordered to repay £23,520.61 and £37,500 respectively at a hearing in September 2015.

Kidnap gang jailed

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Four men who abducted a man and violently assaulted him have been jailed for a total of 54 years following a trial at Isleworth Crown Court.

The four men were found guilty of kidnap on Tuesday 23 May and were sentenced at the same court on Monday, 26 June.

Haris Khan, 22 (27.05.95), of St Stephens Road, Hounslow, was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment;

Chayce Greene, 19 (17.02.98), of Evans Grove, Feltham, was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment;

Courtnie Greene, 22 (27.06.95), of Evans Grove, Feltham, was sentenced to 15 years; imprisonment;

Brendan Makumbi, 21 (11.07.95) of no fixed abode was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment.

The court heard how the group targeted their victim, who was known to them, in Kingston town centre on the afternoon of 14 October 2016.

The victim - a man aged 18 at the time of the offence - was forced into Khan's car after being accosted by brothers Chayce and Courtnie Greene and Brendan Makumbi.

Once inside the car, Khan punched the victim twice before driving the group to a garage on the Butts Farm Estate in Hanworth. The victim was forced out of the car and told to strip.

Khan then took off his belt and began to beat the victim while Makumbi hit him with a stick. The assault lasted around 10 minutes. Khan ordered one of the group to start filming the attack, the victim was also burnt with a cigarette lighter. The violence only ceased when a car drove past the garage. Khan ordered the victim to get dressed and the group then drove to another address in Hanworth.

Once there, the victim managed to get away from the group and fled the area. Fearing for his safety, the victim fled London and subsequently contacted police.

Detective Sergeant Jamie Hunter of Hounslow CID oversaw the investigation said: "This was a calculated and violent crime and I am pleased that lengthy sentences have been handed down by the court. This means four violent criminals are no longer on the streets of Hounslow borough. I would also like to praise the victim for his bravery in coming to place and supporting this investigation.

"Khan, Makumbi and Chayce and Courtnie Green were convicted due to the compelling evidence gathered by investigating officer DC Jim Coleman - it is his hard work that has resulted in this positive outcome."

Thieving jewellery gang jailed

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GUILTY CROOKS: Dean Coleman, Timothy Tordoff, Wayne Coleman and Yasser Mohammed Nasser were jailed for over 65 years

GUILTY CROOKS: Dean Coleman, Timothy Tordoff, Wayne Coleman and Yasser Mohammed Nasser were jailed for over 65 years

£100k in stolen goods still missing from county’s homes

Police are appealing for information to trace hundreds of thousands of pounds in stolen jewellery after four men were jailed for a series of violent robberies across West Yorkshire this week.

High performance vehicles were also taken in a total of eight ‘home invasion’ robberies which occurred in two days across the Bradford, Leeds and Kirklees areas in January this year.

On Saturday 17th December, four men received over 65 years at Bradford Crown Court for their roles in the raids.

Dean Coleman, aged 47, of Tyersal Road, Bradford was sentenced to 13 years eight months.

Timothy Tordoff aged 26, of no fixed abode will serve 20 years behind bars.

Wayne Coleman, aged 25, of Mary Street, Bradford, received a 15 year sentence.

And Yasser Mohammed Nasser, aged 26, of Broadstone Way, Bradford, was given a 16 years and six months sentence for his role.

Police are now calling on the public to help them find the stolen items, which include a 3.7 ct marquise shaped diamond ring and an 18ct white gold and diamond flower design bracelet.

Detective Superintendent Gary Hooks, who led the investigation, said: “We would firstly like to thank all the victims for their support of what has been a complex investigation, and I hope that today's sentences will give them some comfort.

“These significant sentences send a very clear message to those involved in such criminality that they will be harshly punished by the court.

“We are now appealing for the public's help to trace the stolen items, so we can return them to their rightful owners.

“Some of these pieces are of great sentimental value and we would urge anyone who may have been approached by someone selling these items, or who may have seen them being sold, to contact us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC 5013 Jones at Bradford District CID on 101, quoting crime reference 13160006184.

Information can also be reported anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Hallowheelies: Motorbike gang rips up Leeds’ streets on the spookiest night of the year

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HARLEY-OWEEN: A gang of bikers and quadbikers rampaged through Leeds’ streets this Halloween, with zero regard for pedestrians (Photo cred: Oli Grandidge’s Facebook)

HARLEY-OWEEN: A gang of bikers and quadbikers rampaged through Leeds’ streets this Halloween, with zero regard for pedestrians (Photo cred: Oli Grandidge’s Facebook)

A Leeds councillor has called for stricter legislation to be implemented on off road vehicles, after a gang of hundreds tore up and down pedestrianised areas of the city centre on Halloween.

In scenes which were more suited to Hollywood film sets of ‘The Purge’ or ‘Mad Max’, gangs of people on motorbikes, scooters and quad bikes terrorised people on Briggate and Kirkstall Road.

Shocked witnesses posted videos on social media, describing the scenes as ‘utter chaos’ and ‘complete madness’, racking up over a million views.

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, Labour Councillor for the City and Hunslet ward and deputy cabinet member for community safety, said such scenes were ‘unacceptable’.

“The parents need to take responsibility, that’s one of the key issues,” he said.

“Then I’m also concerned about the law on quad bikes. There’s been so many tragedies. People don’t even wear helmets. Parliament needs to look into the legislation on that.”

TAKING ACTION: Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, of the City and Hunslet ward, praised the police for their actions and urged parliament to look into tougher legislation against the use of off-road vehicles

TAKING ACTION: Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, of the City and Hunslet ward, praised the police for their actions and urged parliament to look into tougher legislation against the use of off-road vehicles

On 1st November, a 26-year-old man was arrested by detectives investigating the incident where he remained in custody.

Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Commander, said: “The appalling behaviour that was witnessed in Leeds last night, when a large group of people on motorbikes and quad bikes rode into the city centre and congregated in Kirkstall Road with a complete disregard for the safety of the public, was completely unacceptable.

“Their actions caused significant disruption and nuisance in the area and members of the public were left understandably concerned. We received a large number of calls reporting dangerous riding and other anti-social behaviour by this group.

“Officers from Leeds District, supported by roads policing colleagues and the police helicopter, responded to the incident and were strategically deployed throughout the evening to provide reassurance and gather evidence.

“Kirkstall Road was temporarily closed in the interests of public safety and the majority of the group dispersed by about 10pm.

“Detectives from Leeds District CID are continuing to conduct detailed and comprehensive enquiries today to identify those involved and take robust action against them.

“We are working closely with our local authority colleagues, with particular support from Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team and LeedsWatch CCTV.”

He added: “I want to reassure the members of the public who were caught up in the incident last night and the wider community that we will be doing everything we can and using all available criminal and anti-social behaviour legislation to bring those involved to book.

“We believe this event was organised through social media and we would like to remind people to think very carefully about the consequences of their actions when getting involved in unofficial gatherings such as this.

“It is no secret that we are generally experiencing significant levels of demand on our limited resources and with Halloween last night it was one of our busiest nights for calls for service. What we did not need was the mindless actions of a few creating additional unnecessary demand on those limited resources and potentially causing delays to members of the public in need of a police response.”

101-years in jail for drug gang downed by West Midlands Police

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birmingham drug gang group (800x536)A century behind bars

A drugs gang supplying heroin, cocaine and cannabis on an ‘industrial scale’ in Birmingham have been jailed for more than 100 years after West Midlands Police brought down their network.

Detectives uncovered drug safe houses, cannabis factories and an extensive chain of dealer phones allocated names such as ‘The T Line’ used to take orders and even issue text advertisements.

GUILTY: Shaymas Ulhaq was identified as the ‘kingpin’ of a sophisticated drug network in the West Midlands

GUILTY: Shaymas Ulhaq was identified as the ‘kingpin’ of a sophisticated drug network in the West Midlands

Shaymas Ulhaq, from Weston Road in Handsworth, was identified as the kingpin who oversaw six cannabis grows – including one with a £150,000 yield operating from the back of a tyre firm in Erdington – and managed a group of drug runners and farmers.

When officers stopped the 32-year-old in a car on 22nd July 2014 he was wearing a diamond encrusted ring and a jewel-laden Audemars Piguet watch, while £1,000 in cash was found in one of his pockets.

He claimed to be a successful car dealer – but analysis of his phone showed regular contact with other numbers linked to the cartel including texts issuing orders and instructions showing he was directing the enterprise.

Other lead players in the network – which police proved had operated for at least 14 months from March 2014 to May 2015 – included Masoud Ali, Mohammed Rahman-Harries, brothers Narinder and Sandeep Kandola, Azim Thakur and Wayne O Connor.

Officers working on the case carried out a series of car stops and house raids netting drugs, dealer paraphernalia and tens of phones that were connected through shared messages relating to drug dealing and supply.

birmingham drug gang group 2 (400x400)And at Birmingham Crown Court this week, 15 people were jailed for a total of 101 years for drug dealing, including an 18-year term for Ulhaq who was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis.

Detective Inspector Ben West, from West Midlands Police Force CID, said: “This was a sophisticated system of drug trafficking featuring a chain of command… it turned over hundreds of thousands of pounds in the space of 14 months.

“The judge commented that distribution of such drugs can have ‘catastrophic results’ and ruin countless lives.

“Ulhaq and his co-conspirators were making huge sums of money out of other people’s misery and flaunting that wealth. When Ulhaq was stopped he was wearing a watch valued in excess of what many hard-working people would fail to earn in a year.”

149 years in prison for rape gang

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MONSTERS: (top row left to right) Yasser Kabir, Faisal Khan, Israr Ali, Sufyan Ziarab, (second row) Tauqeer Hussain, Khalid Raja Mahmood, Saqib Younis, Hussain Sardar, (bottom row) Bilal Ziarab, Nasir Khan, Mohammed Akram and Zain Ali were all jailed at Bradford Crown Court

MONSTERS: (top row left to right) Yasser Kabir, Faisal Khan, Israr Ali, Sufyan Ziarab, (second row) Tauqeer Hussain, Khalid Raja Mahmood, Saqib Younis, Hussain Sardar, (bottom row) Bilal Ziarab, Nasir Khan, Mohammed Akram and Zain Ali were all jailed at Bradford Crown Court

Monsters from Keighley finally locked up

Eleven men from Keighley have this week been sentenced to up to 20 years each behind bars after being found guilty of repeatedly raping a teenage girl between 2011 and 2012.

Over a period of 13 months, the men sexually exploited the then 13-year-old, in locations including a graveyard and underground car park.

The victim was described at Bradford Crown Court as leading a ‘chaotic existence’ at the time, and had been reported missing from home on more than 70 occasions over a two-year period.

Upon sentencing the men, Recorder of Bradford Judge, Roger Thomas, said all had been ‘heartless and demeaning’ and that the girl ‘clearly demanded pity and understanding’.

The teenager was repeatedly raped in encounters arranged by a violent drug dealer, Arif Choudhry, who was described as the ‘evil mastermind’ of the group.

Choudhury, now 18 and formerly of Victoria Avenue, Keighley, was accused by the girl of raping her in the grounds of a Keighley church when she was 13 after she refused to sell his drugs.

On one horrifying occasion, the girl was gang-raped by five of the defendants.

The men, who include three sets of brothers, were mostly young, low-level criminals living in Keighley.

However, one was a taxi driver who was 46 years older than the girl, who had sex with her in his cab when he picked her up as a fare. Another was a paedophile with a long history of sexual offending, whose nephew was in her class at school.

Ranging in age from 19 to 63, the men abused the girl at different places around the former mill town near Bradford.

The judge admonished the gang of men regularly throughout the trial, as they behaved so badly in the dock.

Mr Justice Thomas, QC – as he passed the sentence on Monday – said: “The attitudes that the majority of you have so clearly demonstrated to these proceedings have been contemptuous, disrespectful and arrogant on a scale that I have hardly seen before in many years of practice in criminal law.

“Exactly the same as your attitude to the 13- to 14-year-old girl who you all sexually abused and exploited for your own selfish gratification.”

Some of the men treated the case as a joke from start to finish. They smiled in the police mugshots taken after their arrests, fooled around in the dock, and laughed and waved as they were sent to prison to begin their sentences.

Despite a number having sent the victim explicit Facebook messages, most of the men lied about knowing the girl.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the girl said the rapes had led to her being diagnosed with clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Her statement read: “My impression of what a normal relationship would entail is mixed up and warped. I always thought I would grow up and do my exams and go into nursing. This has become more of a fairytale than the reality for me, which hurts.”

The sentences add up more than 149 years in total.

After the case, Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Bryar, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “We are pleased that these men have now been sentenced for their terrible crimes.

“We would like again to praise [the victim] for [her] courage in coming forward and enabling these men to be put before the courts. We hope that today's sentences will give [her] some closure and help her rebuilding [her life].”

London diamond-district heist gang video released

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VIDEO: “Media speculation is that this could be Britain’s largest robbery. London police say heavy cutting equipment has been used to break into the vault containing safety deposit boxes in the Hatton Garden jewellery district”

VIDEO: “Media speculation is that this could be Britain’s largest robbery. London police say heavy cutting equipment has been used to break into the vault containing safety deposit boxes in the Hatton Garden jewellery district”

London’s Metropolitan Police has released CCTV images of three gang members, dressed in fluorescent vests and hard hats, calmly carrying bags and wheeling garbage bins into a high-security storage facility in London's diamond district.

After two nights of work, they left with the contents of dozens of safe-deposit boxes, in a methodical heist that has fascinated Britain - and put police on the defensive.

The footage shows several men, their faces covered with dust masks, entering and leaving the building repeatedly over the Easter weekend.

Detective chief inspector Paul Johnson said the burglars entered the building late on Thursday, 2nd April and left the next morning. They returned on Saturday night and left Easter Sunday morning.

They climbed down an elevator shaft and drilled through concrete walls 2 meters (6 feet) thick into the vault. They stole the contents of 72 safety deposit boxes, which are used by many local dealers to store jewelry.

HEIST: Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson from the Metropolitan police Flying Squad speaks outside the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd entrance.

HEIST: Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson from the Metropolitan police Flying Squad speaks outside the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd entrance.

Police have not disclosed the actual value of the stolen goods, but has been estimated to be worth at around £200 million.

The force has acknowledged that a burglar alarm at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit facility was triggered just after midnight on 3rd April, the start of the holiday weekend, but no one was sent to check on it. The crime was not discovered until businesses reopened on Tuesday.

It’s also been suggested that an "inside agent" may have been involved in the audacious jewel and cash heist at a safety deposit vault in central London, a former armed robbery detective said.

Jim Dixie, a former detective for the Metropolitan Police's armed robbery and other armed crime unit, known as the Flying Squad, said he believed the criminals received help to break into the vault.

The call was recorded and transferred to the police's Computer Aided Despatch system. A grade was applied to the call that meant no police response was deemed to be required. It said the police were investigating why this grade was applied to the call.

Dixie also said an underground fire in nearby central London's Holborn, which started in 1st April and burned for 36 hours, could have helped the thieves as it affected electric circuits in central London.

He said: "I'm not saying the suspects had anything to do with it but it must have been a godsend to them because it clearly disrupted the electrics and maybe the alarm systems in the area."

John O'Connor, former head of Scotland Yard's armed-robbery squad, said that the thieves appeared professional and well-prepared, but police had been "utterly incompetent" in not answering the alarm call.

Hatton Garden, the center of Britain's diamond trade, has been hit by several audacious robberies in the past.

In 1987, two armed robbers made off with an estimated 60 million pounds ($90 million at the time) worth of jewels. In 1993, robbers handcuffed shop workers, broke through high-security doors and cracked a safe to steal millions worth of diamonds.