The thieves cut through the bars of a security door. Police say this must have taken some time. How long is unclear, though, as the Met said in a statement that the thieves accessed the vault between 9:20 p.m. on April 2 and 8:05 a.m. on April 3 and between 10:17 p.m. on April 4 and 6:30 a.m. on April 5. For the math-challenged, that first window is almost 11 hours; the second, more than eight.
Here is a photo of what bank robbers call "pay dirt." Obviously, the police didn't release the deposit box owners' names, but given the company's location, it's safe for police to say many of the boxes' owners were in the jewelry trade.