Officers target shops selling stolen jewellery
04 October 2012
Camden Police have seized jewellery estimated to be worth tens of thousands of pounds in raids from outlets in the Hatton Garden area on Wednesday, 3 October.
Over 50 officers were involved in the raids, executing warrants at seven businesses believed to have been involved in handling stolen goods.
"This sends out a clear message that Hatton Gardens will not be used as a clearing house.”
The midday raids were carried out by detectives from Camden Borough in Hatton Garden, which is known worldwide as a market place for jewellery and time-pieces.
Police believe that a small percentage of jewellers in the area may be involved in handling property either stolen in robberies or burglaries.
Operation Beluga is Camden Police's response to a recent number of thefts, particularly robbery, where high-value watches and jewellery have been stolen.
The warrants executed today were at:
- Six jewellery premises within 35 Greville Street, Hatton Garden, EC1.
- A jewellery store within 32 Hatton Garden, London, EC1.
Police seized over 40 watches and jewellery with an estimated value of over £140,000.
A 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
Detective Superintendent Richard Tucker of Camden Borough said: "The reason we have carried out these raids is because we are directly reducing crime and serving the whole borough of Camden and beyond.
"It's not about disrupting law-abiding businesses. Street robberies and residential burglaries where jewellery is stolen can often end up in some jewellery premises in the Hatton Garden area.
"By disrupting that criminal activity, we are removing the 'sales value' of stolen property, which means burglars and robbers find it difficult to make proceeds from their crimes."
Detective Chief Inspector Raffaele D'Orsi, the Senior Investigating Officer, added: "Operation Beluga sends out a clear message from the Metropolitan Police that Hatton Gardens will not be used as a clearing house for criminal proceeds.
"We are successfully working hard to make Camden even safer and have already reduced the incidences of robbery and burglary by 20% already this year compared to last.
"This tactic is a furtherance of our work to disrupt those individuals who prey and violently steal from hard-working members of the public, whether by burglary, robbery or other means in Camden, London or elsewhere in the United Kingdom."