Diamond Heist Raises Questions About Bank SecurityJanuary 24, 11
The bank, a major diamond finance institution, was robbed after the four succeeded to duplicated locker keys as well as the bank custodian’s keys. Some 400 carats worth approximately $350,000 were stolen from a locker in April 2010, while the other thefts may have taken place even before that. Police had until now been unable to make any headway.
The two diamond dealers and the real estate agent rented lockers at the bank and used this as a pretext to get impressions of other locker keys on blanks supplied by the locksmith.
What worries police and security officials is that the locksmith himself never entered the bank but was able to fabricate accurate duplicates of the keys, while Lock-making firms have all along claimed that it was impossible for a locksmith to do this from a remote location. They further claimed that a locksmith would have to be present in the locker room for at least 48 hours to duplicate the keys.
The locksmith reportedly took three months to painstakingly craft the bank custodian’s keys from impressions brought back by other gang members.
The thieves were tracked down only after the police carefully analyzed more than 36,000 log-entries for the locker room over a three-year period and found that the same three people seemed to have been repeatedly in the locker room at the same time.
Bank lockers are not usually used by the mainstream diamond trade as banking hours , which require the lockers to shut around 4:30 pm, are considered inconvenient. Diamond traders in the Opera House district regularly keep working till beyond 6:30 pm and need to open their lockers several times a day. Those who don’t have their own offices with safes usually use locker facilities provided specifically for the diamond industry by private firms.
In industry terms, the value of the heist is considered too insignificant to have any impact worth noting.