When a gang of pensioners looted millions from a jewellery vault in 2015, it seemed straight out of a film – and now it’s the subject of several. What happened next for the ‘Bad Grandpas’?
It took two nights over the Easter weekend in 2015 for a team of seven burglars to drill 20 inches through the concrete wall of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit vault and help themselves to what was claimed at the time to be around £100m worth of jewels, gold and cash from 73 boxes. Following the convictions of the men responsible at Woolwich crown court the next year, it took only slightly longer for eight different production companies to announce that they were about to make a movie or television series about the heist.
The details of the crime were instantly appealing: most of the burglars were in their 70s or late 60s(and had been enthusiastically dubbed the “Diamond Wheezers” by the tabloids); they had taken a break from the break-in to leave the premises and find a better drill; some of the stolen jewels were hidden in the graves of relatives of one of the team. Among the burglars were Terry Perkins, who had been jailed for his role in the £6m Security Express robbery in east London back in 1983, and Brian Reader, who served time for his role in the £26m Brink’s-Mat robbery at Heathrow airport in the same year (and whom I had met years earlier in my work as a crime reporter).