At least not for a cheeky Romanian jewelry thief who stealthily traded seven pebbles for $ 5.7 million worth of diamonds in a daring heist – only to be sent to jail last week for 5.5 years for the crime.
Lulu Lakatos was convicted of conspiracy to steal by a London jury last Wednesday for her central role in the theft of expensive gems from Boodles jewelry store in London’s Mayfair in March 2016, the AP reported.
Lakatos belonged to an international gang that fled to France after stealing the diamonds, which still have not been recovered.
Members of the gang visited Boodles on several occasions in the days leading up to the heist, telling staff members that they represented a wealthy Russian investor in Monaco.
“This was a daring theft, committed in the sight of the experienced and professional staff of a renowned jeweler,” said the Detective Sgt. William Man, of the Metropolitan Police Service in London, said in a statement. “The meticulous planning and execution of this theft reveals to me that those involved were highly skilled criminals. “
Lakatos posed as a gemstone expert named “Anna” who then went to Boodles to appraise seven diamonds for the buyer. When she arrived at Boodles, she was greeted by the boss, William Wainwright.
After inspecting the gemstones, which included a 20-karat heart-shaped diamond valued at over 2.2 million pounds, they were individually wrapped and placed in a locked bag that was to be kept in the vault of the jeweler until payment is received.
But Boodles’ own expert grew suspicious the next day and staff members x-rayed the bag. There was nothing in it other than seven ordinary pebbles.
Lakatos had used distractions, including removing layers of heavy clothing, to exchange the bag containing the diamonds for an identical bag containing the pebbles before it was locked in the safe, according to the store’s surveillance video.
“She was very unattractive,” Wainwright said in court. “She was overweight, she wore the kind of thing a Russian dancer would wear. She had huge breasts.
After leaving Boodles, Lakatos gave the bag containing the diamonds to an accomplice. She then ditched the long coat, hat and scarf she was wearing and boarded a Eurostar high-speed train for France.
She was arrested under a European arrest warrant last September and returned to Britain to stand trial.