Italian man admits £26m celebrity raids

Frank and Christine Lampard, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and F1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone
The homes of Frank and Christine Lampard, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and Tamara Ecclestone and her husband were broken into in December 2019

An Italian man has been convicted over his role in one of the biggest domestic burglaries in English legal history.

Watches and jewellery belonging to Frank Lampard, Tamara Ecclestone and the late Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha were among the items taken during a series of burglaries in December 2019. Alessandro Donati, 43, from Milan, pleaded guilty at Isleworth Crown Court to conspiracy to burgle. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Donati was arrested in Italy under a European Arrest Warrant in October and extradited to the UK the following month. With the assistance of an Italian interpreter, he admitted to conspiring to burgle dwellings between 30 November 2019 and 18 December 2019. The home of the former Chelsea manager and England international Mr Lampard was the first to be raided on 1 December.

Tamara Ecclestone
Tamara Ecclestone’s Kensington mansion was raided on 13 December 2019 as she flew out for a Christmas family holiday

A diamond watch, cufflinks and a clock worth an estimated £60,000 were taken. Then on 10 December, a Knightsbridge property belonging to the Srivaddhanaprabha family was targeted. It was duty free billionaire Leicester City owner Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s home before his death in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium in October 2018.

This time, 400,000 euros in cash was taken, as well as expensive watches. The final burglary, on the palatial home near Kensington Palace that socialite Ms Ecclestone shares with her husband Jay Rutland, saw about £25m worth of valuables stolen.

Ms Ecclestone, the daughter of ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, was on a Christmas family holiday in Lapland with Mr Rutland, their daughter and their dog at the time. Judge Martin Edmunds QC remanded Donati in custody ahead of a sentencing date yet to be fixed.

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