Jewel Thieves Borrow Sherlock Holmes Plot
Russian gang copies heist scheme from story
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2011 2:41 PM CDT
Russian jewel thieves borrowed a page from Sherlock Holmes.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – Russian cops think they have some literary jewel thieves on their hands. The gang borrowed the plot of a Sherlock Holmes story, tunneled into a jewelry shop, and made off with hundreds of gold bars and silver gems, reports the Telegraph. The thieves paid a 74-year-old woman to stay out of her own apartment—some reports say they bought it outright—then tunneled through her walls to the jeweler next store, explains ProfessionalJeweler. Neighbors heard the racket but figured it was part of a renovation.

The heist bears an uncanny similarity to the plot of Arthur Conan Doyle's short story The Red-Headed League. In the story, thieves dupe a man into leaving his shop, then tunnel into the adjoining bank. One big difference: Sherlock Holmes caught them red-handed in the bank vault, while the Russian thieves are still at large. “Where was Sherlock when we needed him?” asked a St. Petersburg cop.