The name on the letterbox outside a private, gated estate on Via Manzoni on the outskirts of Milan says L. Alfredo — which stands for Alfredo Lindley.
Signore Lindley, who owns a four-storey villa (with a swimming pool) inside the exclusive development — where he lived with his wife and four children — made his money, at least on paper, from running a number of garages and automobile businesses in the area.
The collection of cars on display at his home included, at one time, a £58,000 Audi, a £55,000 Porsche Cayenne and a £24,000 BMW.
So, by any measure, Signore Lindley had done rather well for himself.
Except, unbeknown to his neighbours, this was not his real name. Nor was he a ‘respectable businessman’.
The man who resided here — his family left barely three weeks ago — was a Serbian-born criminal who had stolen the identity of a leading Peruvian lawyer (the real Alfredo Lindley) and was living in Italy using his name and date of birth.
‘Alfredo Lindley’ was in fact Ljubomir Radosavlejic. Radosavlejic is the suspected mastermind behind a string of multi-million-pound raids on celebrity homes in London in December 2019, the Mail can reveal today, after tracking him across Europe to his most recent bolthole in the suburbs of Milan.
Jay Rutland and Tamara Ecclestone were victims to a string of multi-million-pound raids on celebrity homes in December 2019
Among the victims in Britain were Formula One heiress Tamara Ecclestone, footballer Frank Lampard and wife Christine, and the family of the late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The break-in at Ecclestone’s 55-bedroom mansion alone was the highest-value burglary in English legal history.
The crime spree, over 13 frenzied days in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, netted £25 million in cash and jewellery which has never been recovered.
Shortly afterwards, members of the gang were caught on CCTV celebrating with a £750 lunch including bottles of Chateau Ruinart rosé champagne at the Zuma Japanese restaurant on Raphael Street, Knightsbridge.
Three men have now been convicted of the burglaries and will be sentenced today.
But Radosavlejic, 40 — the so-called ‘fourth man’ — is still at large and is now the subject of an international manhunt. It has been said that his ‘career’, culminating, allegedly, in the high-profile celebrity raids, could be turned into a Hollywood movie.
The break-in at Ecclestone’s 55-bedroom mansion alone was the highest-value burglary in English legal history
This would certainly appeal to Radosavlejic’s vanity.
His criminal activities have allowed him to inhabit a world of almost unimaginable opulence and extravagance epitomised by the diamond-studded Rolex which can usually be seen on his wrist (one of a number of Rolexes he owns) and high-rolling trips to the casino where his father once blew a million euros (£856,000), given to him by his son, in a single night on the tables and roulette wheel.
According to those who know him back in his native Serbia, he is ‘obsessed’ with the Ocean ‘casino heist’ films and models himself on George Clooney’s character, master thief Danny Ocean.
The haul of jewels from the London raids, including a Cartier bangle belonging to Tamara Ecclestone, were smuggled out of the country by a team of beautiful young escorts, dressed head-to-toe in designer apparel, who flew business class, an old family friend of Radosavlejic told us.
The gems, he said, were concealed — how can we put this — in a rather delicate part of their anatomy.
A European manhunt is under way for a man accused of one of the biggest burglaries in English legal history, a BBC investigation has found. Alfredo Lindley is said to have led a series of burglaries on the luxury homes of three celebrities in December 2019 – including a £25m raid on the home of F1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone
Radosavlejic’s methods and his progression through the criminal underworld, from his Roma upbringing in the impoverished village of Obrenovac near the Serbian capital Belgrade to his inclusion on Scotland Yard and Interpol’s ‘most wanted’ list of fugitives, undoubtedly has a cinematic quality in the same way that, say, the Italian mafia — with whom he has strong connections — does.
‘Alfredo Lindley’ was just one of at least 19 aliases he used to evade the authorities down the years while raiding the homes of the rich and famous, not just here but all over Europe.
Locals in his home town joked that he changes his name ‘like you would a pair of socks’ and has the power to ‘baptise himself as he wishes’.
What they meant by this is that Radosavlejic is rumoured to be protected by his contacts with Serbian politicians and police.
His clan has a notorious reputation in the Balkans.
Radosavlejic was named after his grandfather, Ljubomir Radosavlejic, a legendary Fagin-esque figure in Serbia, who trained local children how to steal and then sent them around the Continent to rob and thieve from the wealthy.
His son, Dragan, surpassed him, spending three years in a Greek jail for stealing a haul of gold jewellery in the 1980s.
‘Dragan would come back from abroad and say, ‘Look, I robbed a few houses and look what I’ve got,’ ‘ a close acquaintance in Belgrade recalled.
‘He would show his children loads of money and tell them if they wanted to be a success and have money they would have to do the same as him.’
Friends said the young Ljubomir would be beaten mercilessly if they returned from their burglary missions empty-handed.
Ljubomir Jr had his first brush with the law after his parents moved to Italy when, aged ten, he was caught breaking and entering. He never looked back.
Few, even in his own family, though, could have imagined that he would one day become one of the most wanted men in Europe.
In Italy, the Radosavlejics forged contacts with organised crime, with the mafia, and built a criminal network behind a string of shell companies, including car dealerships, which do not exist.
‘He always wore a suit and looked like a very smart, respectable businessman,’ said a neighbour in the luxury gated community where he was known as ‘Alfredo’.
The companies were registered under his Peruvian alias, Alfredo Lindley, in reality a partner in a prestigious law firm in Lima who worked for the World Bank Group. His details, such as his birthplace of Miraflores, were used to fill in the necessary paperwork. One ‘dealership’ is listed at No 30 on Via Luigi Galvani, in Bollate, a municipality in north-west Milan, a few miles from his villa. The door numbers on the street, we discovered, actually stop at No 27.
Among the items stolen in the raid at Ecclestone’s Kensington home were precious rings, earrings and a £95,000 Cartier bangle wedding gift, pictured. The haul of jewels from the London raids, including the bangle, were smuggled out of the country by a team of beautiful young escorts, dressed head-to-toe in designer apparel who flew business class
In reality, police say that Radosavlejic and his associates were carrying out burglaries throughout the Continent. Their targets were always rich and quite often famous.
The London raids, it is claimed, were far from the first time celebrities had been on their radar.In 2009, Radosavlejic’s network is suspected of burgling the homes of then Inter Milan footballers Sulley Muntari and Patrick Vieira, the former Arsenal star and current Crystal Palace manager, before stealing £2 million worth of jewels from Maria Luisa Gavazzeni, the widow of Italian designer Nicola Trussardi.
Hardly any of these gems and valuables have ever been recovered. A possible explanation, perhaps, lies in one of the methods used to smuggle the proceeds across Europe. Young women, invariably Roma, are trained how to safely hide the proceeds on their person, so to speak, in the same way as drug mules, revealed a source with knowledge of the gang’s modus operandi. They are then given a business or first-class ticket to various locations on the Continent where a ‘contact’ will be waiting to collect and fence the haul.
‘For a job as big as the one in London they will have used women, it is their preferred method,’ the source said. ‘They get paid a few thousand euros, they travel in style and always alone. They wear designer clothes and look really good. They are not the sort of women who get stopped.When they land there is a minder waiting for them, the jewellery is taken and you can say goodbye to it. No one will find it.’
Much of the treasure is thought to have passed through the infamous Roma camp off Via Monte Bisbino in northern Milan, and the gold from the Ecclestone break-in may have been melted down at the site, police sources in Italy said.
Gems from a collection once owned by the former first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron, were found at the camp in 2011 two years after they had been stolen. Francesco Giustolisi, head of the Milan flying squad, the specialist armed robbery unit, admitted that the force would not enter the premises without at least 40 men after an officer was run over and killed at the site a few years ago.
‘We cannot be sure but it is very likely that the jewels have transited through the camp,’ he said. ‘But a lot of these pieces are unique so melting them down would devalue them.
‘I believe they are likely to have been transported across Europe. I think we will see them pop up at some point and re-enter the market through someone who has bought them believing them to be legal and then tries to auction them, for example.’
Either way, Radosavlejic’s ill-gotten wealth was impossible to miss whenever he returned ‘home’ to Obrenovac.
Christine and Frank Lampard were robbed of around £50,000 worth of valuables from their home
‘He once turned up in a Ferrari, on other occasions, he was in a Maserati,’ said a villager. ‘He has Rolexes studded with diamonds as well as Patek Philippe watches. It was quite incredible to see.
‘With sharp suits and everything else, Danny Ocean is very much his image. He watches all the Ocean films.
‘He’s always in the casinos and throws big parties full of beautiful women when he is back. Put it this way, in Obrenovac you might earn 200 euros [£170] a month. He thinks nothing of spending 10,000 euros [more than £8,000] at a restaurant.
‘Many Romas see Ljubomir as a hero but others are frightened of him. I know him and he is not a good man. He is not a Robin Hood. He robs the rich and pays himself.’
Justice seemed to have finally caught up with Radosavlejic in 2017. His assets, including his expensive collection of cars, were seized and a bar he owned in Baranzate was closed. But he was not jailed and continued to live in the luxury gated community.
Two years later the homes of Tamara Ecclestone, the Lampards and the family of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha were hit. The burglaries made the front pages.
The real Alfredo Lindley contacted the authorities after reading his name in an Italian news report about the London burglaries and was informed that his details had been used by the Serbian on official documents. Mr Lindley told us he feared his data may have been stolen in a computer hack, adding: ‘What worries me most is that I’m a lawyer and my reputation is vitally important.’
Although Radosavlejic has not been seen at his Italian villa since the thefts, his family remained at the property until three weeks ago when his wife was seen loading furniture into a removal van.
Radosavlejic himself is now believed to be back in Obrenovac.
On December 10, the gang hit the Knightsbridge home of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha (pictured) in Walton Place. The raid took place more than a year after he was killed in a helicopter accident after a Leicester City game
A former associate said he did not think he would be foolish enough to try to leave his homeland — which does not have an extradition treaty with the UK — while such a high-profile fugitive.
‘In Serbia, he can pay politicians, he can pay the police, he can stay safe. He has never caused trouble in Serbia.’
Radosavlejic’s nephew Jugoslav Jovanovic, 24, will be sentenced alongside Italians Alessandro Maltese, 45, and Alessandro Donati, 44, at Isleworth Crown Court today. The trio pleaded guilty to their part in the burglaries. They will serve their time in Italy as part of the extradition agreement.
When the Mail knocked at Radosavlejic’s family home in Obrenovac there was no answer, but a blue Fiat with an Italian number plate was parked outside. The car was familiar to Francesco Giustolisi, the head of the flying squad in Milan, as having been used by Radosavlejic. But of the elusive Ljubomir Radosavlejic himself, there was no sign.
The last time the police saw him was on CCTV drinking champagne at the Knightsbridge restaurant the day after the London raids.
They will surely be hoping to see him again soon.