Flying Squad say scene is "chaotic" with inside job not ruled out.
Raiders who targeted safety deposit boxes during a Hatton Garden robbery on Easter weekend did not force their way in to the building, fuelling speculation that the assailants either hid inside and waited until the offices were closed or had insider knowledge.
An initial estimate of 300 looted safety deposit boxes has been reduced to around 60 or 70, with the value expected to be in the millions of pounds.
The information was revealed during a police press conference led by Flying Squad Detective Chief Inspector Paul Johnson outside Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Ltd yesterday (April 9).
Further details have emerged, including a confirmation that thieves disabled a lift and abseiled down into the basement, where the vault is located. From there, they used a specialist Hilti DD350 drill to crack the two metre thick vault walls, which were made of reinforced concrete.
The scene of devastation in the vault was also described by DCI Johnson, who said: “The scene is chaotic. The vault is covered in dust and debris and the floor is strewn with discarded safety deposit boxes and numerous power tools, including an angle grinder, concrete drills and crowbars.
"We are in the process of identifying the owners of the safety deposit boxes and as we do we are contacting them to take statements and find out what has been stolen. This is a slow and ongoing process.
"We are still forensically examining the scene for evidence. This is a painstaking process but is essential to ensure we can gather as much evidence and opportunities to identify the thieves.”
Investigators have not elaborated on claims that the building’s alarms activated on Friday April 3 and that police had been called. They also declined to comment on whether or not the CCTV and alarm systems were working at the time of the height.
DCI Johnson commented: “I realise there have been a number of reports in the media around the alarm being activated on the Friday and the police response. This will of course form part of the investigation.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Flying Squad on 020 8785 8655 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.