London: A gang of thieves in the UK carried out a Mission Impossible-style heist in which they abseiled into a warehouse and stole rare antique books worth nearly 2 million pounds.
The gang of three thieves targeted the warehouse in Heathrow and made off with more than 160 publications dating back to the 15th century.
The gang are reported to have climbed onto the building's roof and bored holes through the reinforced glass-fibre skylights before rappelling down 40ft of rope "like commandos", somehow avoiding sophisticated motion sensor alarms.
Scotland Yard confirmed that "a number of valuable books" were stolen during the burglary in Feltham between January 29 and 30.
Alessandro Meda Riquier told Sky News, 51 of his books were being stored in the building near Heathrow Airport before they were due to be flown to an event in California.
"I'm very upset because this is not something you can buy everywhere. Behind these books there is a lot of work because we have to search to try to find out where the books are - auction houses, collectors, colleagues - and there's big research behind these books," he said.
Reports said the selected books were put in holdalls and pulled up to the roof with ropes before being lowered down to a waiting van where they were driven away.
There is speculation the raid was done to order because the titles would be impossible to sell to a reputable dealer or auction house.