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CCTV footage has captured a Conwoman Replacing Diamonds worth £4.2 Million for Pebbles

Lulu Lakatos, 60, posed as a skilled gemologist for wealthy Russian investors and used sleight of hand to swap diamonds for pebbles under the nose of Britain’s top jewellers.


The grey-haired thief posed as ‘Anna’ and pretended to examine the diamonds in front of the Boodles staff; she switched the purse of diamonds for an identical package she had hidden in her handbag.


Lakatos walked out of Boodles with the gems tucked away in a secret compartment in her handbag, she took the Eurostar and was out of the country within three hours.


Although the diamonds have never been recovered, the Police caught Lakatos in France and she was extradited to the UK.


On Wednesday the skilled culprit was found guilty of theft at Southwark Crown Court and she was seen sobbing when she was sentenced to five and a half years.


Lakatos was part of a well-versed gang who had fooled Nicholas Wainwright, chairman of Boodles in Mayfair. Members of the gang took Mr Wainwright out for dinner at the Hotel de Paris Monaco and pretended they wanted to buy the multi-million-pound gems.


Both parties had agreed that Lakatos would fly over to London and examine the precious diamonds on offer.


The CCTV footage shows the conwoman putting the jewels in her bag in front of a member of staff, whilst Mr Wainwright exited the room to take a call.

(Image shows the outside of the Boodles store. Image source Instagram.)


Ms Barton, an employee at Boodles in Mayfair, told the Jury that ‘Anna’ casually put the diamonds in her handbag.


Ms Barton said: “I said ‘No, no, no, you can’t do that, please take them out of your handbag now, I have to see them at all times.”

The accomplished thief replied: 'it's okay, don’t worry, it’s nothing to worry about.’

Once Lakatos had left the building the bag was opened and the staff were shocked to find worthless pebbles.

(Image shows Lakatos sitting in the dock at Southwark Crown Court. Image Source: Julia Quenzier)


CCTV footage and a DNA profile from the pebbles established a strong connection to Lakatos.


But in a Hollywood-worthy twist, Lakatos tried to blame the theft on her younger sister, Liliana who died in a car accident in 2019.


The argument became slightly less convincing when she was confronted with the CCTV footage of her stealing the diamonds. She told the Jurors: “It’s my sister.”


Judge Emma Goodall QC, sentenced Lakatos and said: "You have been convicted of conspiring to steal diamonds, the jury having rejected your defence it was your deceased sister and not you who perpetrated the offence.


"This was a highly sophisticated and audacious offence in terms of planning, risk and reward, an offence in respect of which you played an integral role."


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Feature image shows Lakatos sitting in the dock at Southwark Crown Court. Image Source: Julia Quenzier.

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