Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Find Major Clues in Hunt for [Pounds Sterling]40m Gem Raiders

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Find Major Clues in Hunt for [Pounds Sterling]40m Gem Raiders

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Correspondent

DETECTIVES hunting the Mayfair jewel raiders have found a loaded gun in a dramatic breakthrough.

Details of the find emerged as police continue to trace two getaway cars used in the [pounds sterling]40 million robbery. A silver Mercedes and a blue VW Sharan were used in an elaborate escape plan following the raid on Graff Diamonds.

Police believe they would have been abandoned afterwards but are yet to be found. Both cars are known to have been "cloned" by the gang, using stolen number plates.

Scotland Yard issued the registration numbers of the cars today and appealed for anyone who may have seen the vehicles to contact them. The number of the B-Class Mercedes is LV06 HFA and the Sharan has the plate RA07 XEV.

Police said the loaded gun was not one of the two handguns used by the smartly dressed robbers to fire warning shots during the raid. They refused to say where it had been found but one possibility is that it was abandoned by the robbers in a third getaway car.

The raiders escaped initially in a blue BMW but it crashed into a taxi in Stafford Street, where they dumped it and got into the Mercedes. The weapon was being examined by ballistic experts today to check if it had been fired. Det Chief Insp Pam Mace said: "We have recovered a loaded firearm that is connected to this incident. Several lines of inquiry are ongoing but I am happy with the way it is progressing."

Police sources say the gang left a trail of clues as they fled. Detectives hope they will gain crucial information from the Charles Fox make-up studio in Covent Garden, where the two robbers got latex disguises hours before the raid. …

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