Search

Bungling burglars fail in cash till raid on Krays’ Pellicci ‘caff’ haunt down Bethnal Green

PUBLISHED: 19:02 10 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:30 11 April 2018

Pellicci nephew Tony Zaccaria and the stolen cash register now returned to the café in Bethnal Green. Picture: Ken Mears

Pellicci nephew Tony Zaccaria and the stolen cash register now returned to the café in Bethnal Green. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Bungling burglars thought they could turn over Bethnal Green’s famous Pellicci greasy spoon café where the Krays used to hang out—but couldn’t get the cash till open.

Tony Zaccaria with the hero butcher from next door, Peter Sargent, who returned the stolen cash till to Pellicci's.  Picture: Ken MearsTony Zaccaria with the hero butcher from next door, Peter Sargent, who returned the stolen cash till to Pellicci's. Picture: Ken Mears

The dawn raiders weren’t even able to smash through the laminated plate glass window at first, so they had to find a paving stone to hurl at it to get in, according to a passer-by at 5.30am.

They finally got into the café in Bethnal Green Road, but failed to fathom out how to get the cash register to open.

So the luckless louts carried it off—yet still couldn’t decipher how to open the thing and finally dumped it round the corner in Florida Street.

“They didn’t take anything else,” Pellicci nephew Tony Zaccaria told the East London Advertiser.

“Three of them took the till away when they couldn’t work out how it opens. All they had to do was press a button—but it’s a very old till and was just too much for them to work out.”

Tony and his aunt Maria Pellicci arrived at 7am to open up and got a shock, but luckily there was no damage apart from the window. The thieves didn’t even help themselves to food.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Spitalfields antiques market trader Charlotte Sellers spotted the abandoned cash register in the gutter on her way to work.

She alerted butcher Peter Sargent and the two heroes carried it back to Pellicci’s.

The till has sentimental value. It’s 80 years old and fits well with the café’s art deco wood panelling interior, once a favourite haunt of the notorious Kray twins who grew up round the corner the Vallance Road.

The famous East End ‘caff’ was used by Hollywood film producer Brian Helgaland to shoot a scene for his 2015 blockbuster movie Legend, about the Krays’ East End gangland reign of terror through the 1950s and 60s.

Pellicci’s was the real-life scene setting that depicted a showdown confrontation the menacing gangland twins had with their Richardson mob rivals some time around 1960, giving the movie its historic authenticity.

The ‘caff’ has stood the test of time, established by the Italian Pellicci family 116 years ago and still run by the same bloodline.

The cash till the thwarted thieves couldn’t open is almost as old. But what the intruders didn’t realise was that there was no cash in the till anyway—it’s just for decoration!

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 17:43

MPs opposing the Brussels Brexit deal joined campaigners converging on east London for today’s rally at the Excel centre calling for a People’s Vote on the controversial agreement being debated in Parliament on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 13:00

Thousands campaigners are converging on east London this afternoon for a rally calling for a People’s Vote on Brexit ahead of Tuesday’s crucial vote in Parliament.

Yesterday, 08:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Brexit continues to dominate the political landscape and Tower Hamlets Council deserves praise for setting up its own commission to examine the potential economic and social impact that leaving the EU will have on the borough.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mobility scooter and wheelchair users can receive free advice on staying safe while travelling on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

Friday, December 7, 2018

Cinderella has brought the Christmas panto season to Mile End amid the eternal battle with her Ugly Stepsisters.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Researchers from Queen Mary University have helped create the Xingu Village installation taking visitors to the heart of Brazil’s native communities.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Tower Hamlets has lost 75 pubs although more people are working in the trade, figures have revealed.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now