LONDON, November 12 (NewYorkDailyNews.com)
Bumbling guards at the Tower of London are facing the ax after a thief managed to scale the front gate of the 11th century fortress and steal a set of keys from an unlocked strongbox, according to British reports. The keys unlocked a drawbridge, some conference rooms and a restaurant at the complex, and royal officials were forced to have a number of the locks changed, The Sun newspaper reported. The Royal Crown Jewels, which are kept under guard at the Tower, were never at risk of being stolen, a royal spokesperson said.
Several sets of keys to the Tower of London were stolen by a burglar who scaled the fortress’ main gate last week, British media reported.
The daring heist took place on Guy Fawkes Night, the annual Nov. 5 celebration that commemorates the break-up of a plot to assassinate King James I in 1605. According to the Sun, the Towers traditional guards, known as the Beefeaters, spotted the thief but didn’t chase him because they are forbidden to leave their post. Instead, the guards radioed for help from a night watchman, but were ignored, the Sun said.
The Beefeaters, officially the Yeoman Warders, guard the palace along with a private security firm. Security was a total shambles, a Tower source told the newspaper. The burglar climbed over the Front Gate then got over another gate and found a metal box with the keys inside. The box is supposed to be kept locked at all times but it was open.
London’s Metropolitan Police was hunting for the burglar, and a spokesman for the Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that runs the Tower, said the incident was under review. The castle complex, which sits on the bank of the Thames river in central London, has served several functions in its century-long history. It has been a royal residence, a prison, a treasury, a mint, and the site of a handful of executions. Today, it primarily operates as a tourist attraction.
Stolen keys?? Why in the world are they still using keys for their facilities? What is even funnier is that the keys were supposed to be inside of a locked box, which also needed a key to unlock.
Below is a keyless lock (left) that is fancy enough for the Tower of London. Or at least lock your keys in a keyless, key-storage box (right).