Diamonds are a woman’s best friend. However, this friendship cost the owners of Boodles showroom on New Bond Street in Mayfair, central London, heavily! Sexagenarian Lulu Lakatos posed as a gemologist who examined the stones from Boodles in central London. She certainly did more than pose as a gemologist and examinations, and thanks to her sleight offhand, the woman replaced the valuable stones with regular garden pebbles. Ms. Lakatos valued seven diamonds at the New Bond Street store before placing them into a bag, a jury was told. But when the bag was opened, inside were seven small pebbles, Southwark Crown Court heard.
“The diamonds had been stolen by the defendant by sleight of hand,” prosecutor Philip Stott said. He continued, “The conspiracy in which she is alleged to have played an integral and central part was one of the highest possible sophistication, planning, risk, and reward.” the whole plan worked out as planned when Lakatos posed as a gemologist called “Anna,” was sent to value the precious stones by a group posing as wealthy Russian investors who wanted to buy them from Boodles in central London. She managed to steal £4.2 million worth of diamonds, equivalent to around $5.7 million.
Among the seven high-value diamonds was a 20-carat heart-shaped diamond valued at more than $3 million and a three-carat pear-shaped fancy pink diamond worth $1.50 million. Lakatos lived in France and fled London after the theft, and was seen with two other women. Two of the group members, Christophe Stankovic and Mickael Jovanovic, have already been convicted after being involved in the crime. The trial is currently ongoing.