Tower of London Guards Spot Thief, Watch Helplessly

...as he stole keys ... from an unlocked box

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 12, 2012 1:43 PM CST

(Newser) – A comedy of errors, out of one of the British capital's most famed landmarks: A thief scaled the front gate and an inner wall of the Tower of London last Tuesday, but once he climbed into the sentry box, his work was already done for him. A metal box containing a set of keys had apparently been left unlocked. Better still, guards spotted the thief, but they are not permitted to leave their posts to chase anyone down. They radioed for help, but no one came and the thief escaped.

The keys open drawbridges, a restaurant, and a conference room, and the Tower had to spend thousands to replace the locks, the Independent reports. Officials acknowledge security procedures "were not carried out to the expected standard," but say the Crown Jewels were never at risk; police are investigating.

This Tuesday June 12, 2007 file photo shows the Tower of London, foreground, surrounded by modern buildings in London.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)
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