You have to admire Lulu Lakatos, says India Knight in The Sunday Times. The 60-year-old Romanian has been jailed for 5½ years after breezing into Mayfair jeweller Boodles in a low-cut dress and breezing out with seven diamonds worth £4.2m, leaving seven pebbles in their stead. It’s “obviously bad to steal things”, but you can respect the “chops” while deploring the crime. Lakatos insisted she was innocent, saying the real culprit was her sister, who has since died. The chairman of Boodles, Nicholas Wainwright, couldn’t remember the thief’s face because, he told the court last week, he was distracted by her “enormous boobs”.
She arrived at Boodles posing as “Anna”, a diamond valuer for some rich Russians who had been introduced to Wainwright in Monaco, “home of probity”, by an Israeli go-between. During the inspection the (fake) Russian buyers phoned Wainwright, who briefly left Anna alone with Boodles’s in-house “gemologist”. She put the diamonds, sealed in a padlocked bag, into her handbag, then took out an identical bag with pebbles in it seconds later when challenged. Wainwright came back, inspected her bag in a “gentlemanly way” and let her leave. She was out of the country on a Eurostar train within three hours, having passed the diamonds to an accomplice.
The case shows you really can make anyone give you anything if you’re clever and meticulous enough. Most of us would never dare try, which is why we can’t help having a “tiny, sneaking admiration” for those who do.