Drilling a bank robbery

A drill used in the Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery on display at Christie’s is a reminder of the world’s biggest bank heist

 

Former banker David Gainsborough Roberts has amassed an extraordinary collection of items owned by famous and infamous individuals. A selection of them are currently on display at Christie’s in South Kensington and amongst them are a parliamentary robe worn by Lord Lucan, Lawrence of Arabia’s white silk headdress and a drill used in the Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery in 1987.

 

Valerio Vicceri was a playboy turned bank robber
Valerio Vicceri was a playboy turned bank robber

Lord Lucan's parliamentary robe and Lawrence of Arabia headdress are amongst items other than the drill that are on display
Lord Lucan’s parliamentary robe and Lawrence of Arabia headdress are amongst items other than the drill that are on display

Many of our readers have no doubt walked down Cheval Place in Knightsbridge but few now are likely to remember the events that occurred there on 12th July 1987. Said to be the largest bank robbery in history and led by an Italian lawyer’s son named Valerio Viccei (1955 – 2000), the heist taken from the Knightsbridge Security Deposit netted him and his followers at least £60 million (the equivalent of £147,268,657 today). The true value of what was stolen, however, was far higher as many of those renting the boxes had not accurately declared their contents.

 

Vicceri was identified as the main culprit due to having cut himself and left bloodstains at the scene but managed to flee to Latin America. He made the mistake, though, of returning to England to retrieve his Ferrari Testarossa and was captured at a roadblock on 12th August 1987. He was sentenced to 22 years in jail.

 

Whilst serving his sentence at Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight, he began corresponding with the Flying Squad officer who led his arrest, Dick Leach. They referred to each of other as Fred (Leach) and Garfield or The Wolf (Vicceri).

 

Vicceri was subsequently deported to Italy to serve the rest of his sentence in 1992 in an open jail. He worked for a publishing house and told the now jailed imposter and fraudster lawyer Giovanni di Stefano:

 

“Now I am different. Perhaps because the prison has changed me or maybe because after Knightsbridge what could I do more? I could never go back to robbing banks after being fingered as the mastermind of an impossible task: to force a super protected vault? That is why the supervising judge has realised that with that robbery my criminal career was over”.

 

His plan to lead a more honest life wasn’t to be. Whilst on day release in 2000, he found himself in a gunfight with police and was killed.

 

Famous and Infamous is only display at Christie’s South Kensington in London until 1st September.

 

 

Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter here:[wysija_form id=”1″]

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Any Peter Hain memorabilia on display, although Woody Allen still portrayed the most stupid bank robber of all time. Peter Sellers came in second place.

  2. I am sure, if we met, we would agree on much….except having my nights disturbed. And the young Saudi neighbour in my block says he feels shamed by the behaviour of these drivers.
    The interesting question is where did all the money go. And, of course, most of the safety deposit boxes had contents undeclared to the Revenue

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Cheaper Than Fiction – A Bargain in The Boltons

Cheapest, smallest house on the best side of one of London’s most sought after streets, The Boltons, comes up for sale; the tardis like building was home to novelist-politician Jeffrey Archer and his scientist wife Mary in the 1970s.

Mackintosh Icebergs

‘Iceberg home’ formed in part from the former Glebe Place, Chelsea, SW3 studios of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife for sale for sum 1,178% higher than in 2012.

Firing Up A 20th Century Limo

‘Stretched’ 1994 Toyota Century for sale for less than the price of a brand new Ford Fiesta; the rammed full of gadgets limousine comes with a food heating compartment and privacy curtains favoured by notoriously shy Japanese people even.

A Life in a Sentence

Matthew Steeples finds amusement in Twitter handles; a life in a sentence can be found on some of the best profiles.

Moving On – July 2020 – Capone, Conran & Kennedy

Moving on homes owned by the newsworthy – including a country house apartment in a castle currently owned by Jasper Conran and the childhood homes of Al Capone and Jackie Kennedy.

Berkoff on Bears & Barbarians

Acclaimed actor, writer and producer Steven Berkoff responds to an article in ‘The Times’ featuring an image of a sub-human barbarian with a polar bear he’d mercilessly slayed.

Bigging-Up a Bargain Mini Mansion

‘Stately’ ‘Cape Cod style’ ‘mini mansion’ in North Carolina with 1.14 acres of land for sale for just £44,000; it is situated in a town that was the birthplace of the biggest ever American, a very fat and very tall man named Mills Darden.

A Security Lobotomy at The Botanist

‘The Steeple Times’ reports on anything but a ‘Super Saturday’ at The Botanist on Sloane Square; we share here imagery and a video of a thieving woman whom must be caught.

What’s Dershowitz Got To Hide?

Matthew Steeples questions why Alan Dershowitz is getting so enthusiastic in his defence of the vile paedo procurer Ghislaine Maxwell.

Runners & Riders – The Coral-Eclipse 2020

‘The Steeple Times’ takes a look at the seven horse Group 1 Coral-Eclipse 2020 at Sandown and opts for a tasty outsider for an each way bet.

Will Ghislaine Maxwell Motor On?

As a poll reveals the public believe Ghislaine Maxwell will ‘suicide herself’ in a similar manner to her former master Jeffrey Epstein, the Cash & Rocket ‘charity’ unbelievably announce they are going ahead with another rally in 2021.

Runners & Riders – The Oaks and The Derby 2020

‘The Steeple Times’ analyses the selections for a somewhat damp double at Epsom on ‘Super Saturday’; we suggest enjoying The Oaks and The Derby 2020 at home.

Hooping A Half Price Mansion

Vast Edwardian mansion with basketball court in the roof in Watseka, Illinois for sale at half price it listed for in 2016; it’s on for just £20 per square foot.

Wally of the Week – Disgraceful Dimwit Darren Grimes

As manipulated millennial Darren Grimes gets himself into yet another racism storm with the help of his beloved bigot Dr David Starkey, one has to ask: “Who is this cretin’s puppet master?”

Bow Wine Vaults Back

Acclaimed restaurateur Philip Lawless to reopen Square Mile institution and haunt of city financiers the Bow Wine Vaults on Monday.

Remembering Jeffrey Epstein Albuquerque Style

Statue of late billionaire sex beast Jeffrey Epstein mysteriously appears outside City Hall in Albuquerque, New Mexico (and is promptly removed by officials).

Weather Now

London
clear sky
13.8 ° C
16.1 °
12.8 °
67 %
2.1kmh
3 %
Sat
21 °
Sun
24 °
Mon
23 °
Tue
21 °
Wed
16 °