Ecclestone heiress robbed of precious gems in London raid

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British model and socialite Tamara Ecclestone poses on the red carpet as she arrives to attend the European premiere of the film
British model and socialite Tamara Ecclestone poses on the red carpet as she arrives to attend the European premiere of the film "Frozen 2" in this Nov. 17, 2019 file photo. — AFP

LONDON — Thieves broke into the home of British socialite Tamara Ecclestone, daughter of former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, and stole valuable jewels, the family said on Monday.

"I can sadly confirm there has been a home invasion. Internal security are cooperating with police in this matter," her spokesman said.

"Tamara and family are well but obviously angry and shaken by the incident."

Police confirmed they were called to a property in the exclusive Palace Green — dubbed "Billionaire's Row" — near London's Hyde Park, at 11:11 p.m. (2311 GMT) on Friday.

"Officers attended. It was reported that an amount of high value jewellery had been stolen."

The Sun newspaper reported the thieves entered the house, which she shares with husband Jay Rutland, through the garden, evading guards before breaking into safes in the bedroom.

The tabloid said the jewellery was worth some £50 million ($67 million, 60 million euros), and included rings, earrings and a £80,000 Cartier bangle.

But there was no confirmation from the family about the value of the haul. Scotland Yard also did not give a figure.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Pountney said the crime was being treated as an "isolated burglary".

"Police were called by security within the building to three males being present inside the property and a fast-paced investigation is under way to locate the suspects and missing items," he added.

Ecclestone was not in the property at the time as she had already left the country for her Christmas holidays, according to media reports.

Ecclestone is not the first celebrity to be the victim of such a raid.

Formula One driver Jenson Button and US reality star Kim Kardashian have both been victims of high-profile robberies in recent years.

The wealthy west London neighborhood is also often targeted by criminals.

A rich Omani student was stabbed to death in a bungled robbery near luxury store Harrods earlier this month, with police on Monday issuing a description of his two killers.

"We believe the motive was robbery, the victim and his friend were followed and targeted by the two suspects, though nothing was taken during the attack," said police chief Andy Partridge.

The Evening Standard newspaper reported that victim Mohammed Abdullah Al Araimi was the son of property tycoon Sheikh Abdullah Al Araimi. — AFP


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