Scotland Yard hunt one of the world’s most notorious jewellery thieves ‘from Pink Panther crime gang’ after three rings worth £2million were stolen in ‘audacious’ raid on arts fair at Royal Hospital Chelsea
- Detectives are appealing for information to track down Vinko Osmakcic
- He is wanted in connection with a theft from an arts fair in London last year
- Three rings were stolen from a cabinet at the Masterpiece London 2017 event
- Croatian national Osmakcic is believed to be from a jewellery theft crime gang dubbed the Pink Panthers
A suspect being hunted by police over the theft of three diamond rings from an arts fair is believed to be part of a gang dubbed the ‘Pink Panthers.’
Scotland Yard detectives are trying to track down Vinko Osmakcic wanted in connection with the ‘audacious’ robbery at an event at Royal Hospital Chelsea in London last year.
The rings were stolen from a cabinet at the Masterpiece London 2017 fair in July at around 5.30pm.
Croatian national Osmakcic has been linked to the Pink Panthers, an international jewellery thief network, and he is believed to have been responsible for a number of high value diamond robberies across Europe.
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Scotland Yard have released this image of suspect Vinko Osmakcic taken at the arts fair on the day of the theft in July last year
Detective Sergeant Chris Taylor is leading the investiation. He said: ‘This was a well-planned and audacious theft committed in the middle of a busy art fair.
‘We are re-releasing the image of Mr Osmakcic in an attempt to trace him.
‘It is highly likely that Mr Osmakcic may be out of the UK, possibly in Europe. He may also be known by the following name Vinko Tomic or Juro Markelic.
‘I am asking anyone who knows his whereabouts to contact police or Crimestoppers so we can bring him to justice.’
So far there have been no arrests.
The Masterpiece London 2017 event was held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea (pictured)
Interpol say the group has stolen more than $350 million worth of jewellery across 26 European countries.
It was a heist in 2003, after the Graff jewellery store in London was robbed of more than £22.2million in diamonds.
Police tracked down suspects in possession of a stolen ring worth £500,000. They found a ring buried in a jar of face cream – a trick also used by thieves in the first Pink Panther film.
The Pink Panthers have been linked to raids in Paris, Dubai, Geneva, Monaco and Tokyo.
Most of the identified suspects, aged between 40 and 55-years-old, are from Serbia, Croatia or Montenegro.
Police have released information on the rings stolen in the raid.
One is described as a cushion-shaped diamond ring, another is a vivid yellow cushion-shaped diamond ring encased in smaller oval and round-shaped diamonds. The third is an emerald-cut diamond ring with purple and pink stones, and four pear-shaped diamonds.
Anyone who can assist police is asked to call Kensington and Chelsea CID on 020 8246 0122 quoting Operation Hestia or report information via Twitter @MetCC.
To give information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.
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