7 arrested over brazen London jewel district heist

An image released by Scotland Yard shows the inside of a safety deposit vault hit by a gang of theives in London's Hatton Garden jewelry district. The hole in the vault wall was drilled by the theives, who squeezed through the narrow passage to raid the safe deposit boxes.

Metropolitain Police

LONDON -- British police on Tuesday arrested seven men over a major heist in London's Hatton Garden jewelry district over the Easter weekend.

The men, ranging in age from 48 to 76, are being questioned in a London police station. They were arrested Tuesday morning when more than 200 police raided 12 addresses in north London and in Kent, southeast of the city.

Police said bags containing a significant amount of high-value property were recovered at ones of the addresses and they are confident some of these were items stolen during the burglary, when thieves broke into a vault containing safety-deposit boxes.

Police have acknowledged that the alarm system procedures in place during the robbery were not properly followed.

"Our normal procedures would have resulted in police attending the scene, and we apologize that this did not happen," police said.

Commander Peter Spindler said police had worked hard to make the arrests.

"At times we've been portrayed as if we have acted like Keystone Cops but I want to reassure you that in the finest traditions of Scotland Yard, these detectives have done their utmost to bring justice to the victims of this callous crime," he said.