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Thieves drill into heart of London's diamond district

Scotland Yard is trying to track down jewel thieves responsible for an elaborate and costly heist last weekend in London's most exclusive jewelry district. The thieves emptied around 300 safety deposit boxes.

Hatton Garden's safe deposit is where jewelers store some of their most precious stock for safekeeping, reports CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata. But when they returned after a long Easter weekend, they found the cupboard was bare, to the tune of an estimated $300 million in diamonds, jewels and hard cash.

Hatton Garden is the heart of London's diamond district, and a gang of thieves drilled right through it.

While forensic teams collect clues, jewelers are counting up the costs -- though some of the contents weren't the kind declared on any legal documents.

"It's private. They don't want to disclose their wealth," local jeweler Michael Miller said.

When big heists go down in London, they call in a specialist team called the Flying Squad. Its former commander, John O'Connor, said the first place they will be looking is close to home.

"You're looking for someone who turns a blind eye, someone who opens doors in effect, literally opens doors. Somebody who gives the information about the alarm system. Somebody who gives the layout of the building," O'Connor said.

Someone with intimate knowledge of the vault installed in 1949.

Hatton Garden was fortified years ago and boasts what was described at the time as "two-foot wide bomb- and burglar-proof" doors.

Well, burglar proof until last weekend, anyway. O'Connor said it won't just be police hunting down the bandits.

"It's a lot of stolen property goes through Hatton Garden. It's a very secretive industry down there, so this is a smack in the eye for the security and the safety and the confidentiality of Hatton Garden, in my view, because there's a lot of secrets are going to have to be shared," O'Connor said.

Secrets like who knew what and how thieves were apparently able to tunnel through walls, abseil down an elevator shaft, get past an 18 inch vault without triggering any alarms, and then get away unnoticed.

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