Vila Real jewel-thieves stage mini “Hatton Garden heist”

It was not quite up to the haul netted by the audacious heist at London’s Hatton Garden over Easter, but jewel-thieves in Vila Real nonetheless made off with a cool €200,000 in gold and gems in a copycat raid on a jewellers closed for the weekend last Saturday.

The thieves broke down the back door of an adjoining empty building, and then took their time drilling through the wall to get inside the jewellery shop.

Once in, there were no safety deposit boxes to open – just display stands full of items of gold, silver and gemstones.

“I didn’t want to believe it when I opened the door and saw the hole in the wall and the empty display cases!” jeweller Lina Ferreira told reporters. “I have worked so many years, and now this! They took everything! All the gold. I haven’t had time to take an exact tally, but the damage is over €200,000,” she added.

PJ police are now investigating.

Initial reports say that neighbours were unaware of any unexplained noises or comings and goings.

Only a few items in silver, positioned near the jewellers’ entrance, were left behind.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com