Moment jewel thief swaps £4.2m of diamonds for pebbles in Ocean’s Eleven con

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The Sun1.71M
Published on 29 Jul 2021, 10:00
THIS is the moment a 60-year-old jewel thief swapped diamonds worth £4.2million for PEBBLES in an Ocean's Eleven-style con - before blaming her dead sister for the heist.

Lulu Lakatos, 60, who has now been convicted of the biggest jewellery shop caper in British history, posed as gem expert "Anna" at luxury Mayfair store Boodles.

She told staff she'd been sent to value the stones on behalf of supposed wealthy Russian buyers.

But after switching the precious stones for rocks, she made her exit, dumping her glamorous granny disguise in a Wetherspoon toilet and leaving the UK via the Channel Tunnel.

She then blamed her lookalike sister - who died in a car crash - for nabbing the gems.

Lukatos almost got away with the perfect crime - after distracting witnesses with her cleavage in a low-cut dress and donning heavy make-up and a giant hat.

She even fooled Boodle's chairman Nicholas Wainwright by posing as a gemmologist in a plot fit for Hollywood.

Mr Wainwright, whose family have run the jewellers for six generations, agreed to let 'Anna' visit the basement of his flagship store to inspect precious stones on March 10 2016.

He believed his guest was to buy the gems for Moscow millionaires with links to Israel - but in fact, she was part of a gang travelling Europe trying to rip off jewellers by sleight of hand.

Footage of the crime shows the moment Lakatos made the switch.

The gems were meant to be put inside a padlocked purse and held in the jewellers' vault until funds were transferred.

But CCTV captures the purse being put inside 'Anna's' handbag - and replaced with a duplicate containing rocks when Mr Wainwright went upstairs to take a call from the 'Russian purchaser'.

He had already met the apparent buyer, who he knew as 'Alexander', over lunch at Monaco's Hotel Metropole.

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Moment jewel thief, 60, swaps £4.2m of diamonds for pebbles in Ocean’s Eleven con – then blamed her DEAD sister
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