Historic books stolen in Mission: Impossible-style raid found buried underground

2 hundred “culturally vital” books – together with works through Sir Isaac Newton and astronomer Galileo – that had been stolen in a Challenge: Inconceivable-style raid in west London had been discovered buried underground in Romania.

The books, price greater than £2.5m, had been taken in a “extremely refined” housebreaking at a warehouse in Feltham in January 2017, the Metropolitan Police stated.

Thieves broke in through chopping holes within the roof of the warehouse after which abseiled down, averting movement sensor alarms.



Nicolaus Copernicus's De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium



February 2017: Abseiling raiders thieve uncommon books

The books – that have been because of be flown to a consultant public sale in Las Vegas – had been stolen in 16 huge luggage, with the raiders fleeing the warehouse throughout the roof.

Talking to Sky Information in a while after the raid, e book broker Alessandro Meda Riquier stated the stolen works incorporated his 1566 2nd version of Nicolaus Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, which was once reportedly price round £215,000 and was once described as the “jewel” within the haul.

He stated he had additionally misplaced vital books through Galileo and really uncommon editions of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

A world police operation was once introduced to get better the “irreplaceable” pieces and on Wednesday they had been came upon buried underground at a rural assets in Neamt, Romania.

Detective Inspector Andy Durham stated the restoration was once “an excellent finish” to a police operation involving officials in London, Romania and Italy.

“Those books are extraordinarily treasured, however extra importantly they’re irreplaceable and are of significant significance to world cultural heritage,” he added.

The stolen books are worth more than £2.5m. Pic: Met Police
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The stolen books are price greater than £2.5m. %: Met Police

The Met Police stated it had known suspects who had been a part of a Romanian organised crime crew which was once liable for high-value warehouse burglaries throughout the United Kingdom.

The crowd is connected to a number of distinguished Romanian crime households referred to as the Clamparu, which has a historical past of complicated high-value thefts however has principally have shyed away from prosecution through offending out of doors Romania.

Police discovered proof of any other 11 offences dedicated in the United Kingdom, by which an additional £2m price of assets was once stolen – with the offenders normally the usage of the similar manner of coming into throughout the roof.

The books were discovered buried underground at a rural property in Neamt, Romania. Pic: Met Police
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The books had been came upon buried underground at a rural assets in Neamt, Romania. %: Met Police

As a part of the investigation, there have been coordinated arrests and searches of 45 homes throughout the United Kingdom, Romania and Italy in June 2019.

13 other folks had been charged with conspiring to devote burglaries and obtain felony assets between December 2016 and April 2019.

Twelve other folks have pleaded responsible and are because of sentenced subsequent week, the Met Police stated.

A 13th defendant is because of face trial in March.

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