A Trio of Master Thieves Jailed After Robbing $35 Million Of Jewelry From Celebrities

By Carolyn Jenkins | 16 seconds ago

jewel thieves

Life imitates The Bling Ring in news coming from London. The Sofia Coppola film starring Emma Watson also emulated real life in the 2008 case of the young adults who broke into celebrities’ homes to steal their belongings. Among the victims were Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Orlando Bloom. Their theft of $3 million in merchandise pales in comparison to these new thefts in London. Jewel thieves have been arrested for stealing over $35 million worth of merchandise from celebrities living in the area. Among the arrested are Jugoslav Jovanovic, Alessandro Donati, and Alessandro Maltese who pulled off what the police describe as the “highest value series of residential burglaries in UK history.” The merchandise included an assortment of jewelry and watches, most of which have not been recovered.

Among the targets of this heist was heiress Tamara Ecclestone. She is most known for being the daughter of Formula 1 driver Bernie Ecclestone. The victim described the trauma she has experienced in the wake of the jewel thieves’ heist. “I’m so scared I will not leave my daughter alone in the house at night because I just feel like the people I am meant to trust, I don’t, I’m not sure that I can trust anyone,” she was quoted as saying. The crimes have impacted the victims severely. Ecclestone is not the only one to report being shaken by the experience. Former soccer player for England Frank Lampard also reports the experience of being traumatized. Both he and his wife Christine Lampard report not sleeping well after the incident. 

What is perhaps the most insidious of the jewel thieves’ crimes was targeting the home of deceased billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Srivaddhanaprabha was the owner of Leicester City Football Club and died in a helicopter crash in 2018. He was so prominent in English circles that even Prince William lamented the loss. The family of Srivaddhanaprabha is disturbed by this invasion of privacy of their home. The location had previously been “a place of reflection and to pray.” By all accounts, Srivaddhanaprabha was well accepted in English society and the crime at the residence is a significant violation.

gold jewel thieves

While this echoed events in Hollywood, as well as heist movies that become more and more prevalent, Detective Constable Andrew Payne states that the gravity of the situation is more than that of a movie. This case has “real victims” that are recovering from the circumstances. The jewel thieves created a highly cultivated event that was more planned out than the Hollywood heists over a decade ago. The amount of merchandise that was stolen is one thing to consider. Another fact to consider is that the thieves are originally from Milan and seemingly only flew to London to take advantage of the celebrities. This slew of crimes appeared to be so planned out that they were not easy to catch. The thieves were rarely seen together and only paid in cash. According to police, “three of them individually praised us for working out who they were and locating them.”

The jewel thieves were apprehended after the police found surveillance footage of the thieves at a property on Palace Green. The thieves were seen making their escape through the back garden. From there, the authorities saw the group of men get into a black taxi cab and they attempted to trace their movements. They were ultimately apprehended and given sentences. The youngest of the group at 24 years old, Jovanovic, has been sentenced to 11 years in jail. The remaining thieves Donati and Maltese have both been sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison.