Woman Used ‘Slight Of Hand’ To Switch $5.5 Million In Diamonds For Pebbles At Jewelry Store

A French woman has been extradited to the UK to stand trial for her part in an Ocean’s Eleven-style robbery of a London jewelry store. Georgeta Danila, 52, is said to have used “slight of hand” to switch out millions of dollars worth of diamonds for worthless pebbles in the heist at Mayfair’s Boodles in 2016.

  1. She stole nearly £4.2million ($5.5 million) worth of diamonds. Well, at least she tried to. Posing as a gemologist named Anna, Danila is said to have made the switch while staff were distracted, scooping up the diamonds and leaving rocks in their place.
  2. She wasn’t working alone. While it may seem rather ambitious to pull off such a blatant and potentially lucrative robbery all alone, authorities now know that Danila was part of a group that was working together to pull off the heist. Once at Boodles, she pretended to appraise the diamonds, swapping them one by one while staff were otherwise occupied. One of her accomplices, Mikael Jovanovic, was imprisoned for four years in June 2020.
  3. Boodles staff became suspicious the next day. While the box containing the diamonds was returned to the safe following Danila’s visit, The Daily Mail reports that staff became suspicious for some reason the next day and the theft was discovered. While Danila had already fled the country, authorities were able to bring her back to the UK to stand trial after a massive international manhunt.
  4. She pleaded not guilty in court. Appearing before a judge earlier this month, Danila pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiring to steal from Boodles. However, given the fact that she’s a flight risk, she’s being held in custody by Judge Martin Griffith until her next court appearance on September 1st, at which point a trial date will be decided. It was almost the perfect crime… just not quite.
  5. It was said to be the biggest shop theft in legal history. If only it had succeeded!
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill