JCB Diamond Dome Heist
A JCB 3CX Backhoe Loader was famously used in the Millennium Dome raid in 2000. The attempted robbery of the diamond exhibition of the Millennium Dome took place on 7th November in Greenwich, London.
A local London gang attempted the raid. They had a plan to steal diamonds from the display. This included the Millennium Star, which has an estimated worth of £200 million at the time of the incident.
Unfortunately for the gang, the attempted robbery was foiled by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Flying Squad. The heist was successfully stopped as the members were already under surveillance because of information gathered by Kent Police Serious Crime, for their part in various unsuccessful vehicle robberies.
The heist, if successful, would have been one of the biggest robberies in history. The value would have been an estimated diamond value of £627 million in today’s money.
The JCB played a vital part in the gang’s plan. The criminals travelled to the Dome in the digger. They then used this to break through the fence and the side wall of the building. This was the area where the most valuable diamonds were kept. The gang then attempted to shatter the bombproof glass protecting the diamonds, which had previously been swapped to decoy diamonds on the intel of the police. They were inches away from succeeding in breaking down the protective glass before being brought to a halt by the Metropolitan Police tasked with stopping the robbery.
The robbers modified the machine to be used in the heist. Three holes were burnt into the front bucket, so they could see where they were going as this was raised in order to break their way into the dome.
The yellow JCB has become an iconic figure when it comes to remembering the failed heist, which ended in six men being jailed in 2001 for their involvement in the incident. The gang were caught during the Flying Squad’s operation. The operation which saw many undercover police officers acting as Dome workers and cleaners take down the robbers and foil their plans.