It’s not every day that you read about this kind of weird heist. Early morning January 30 a gang of thieves stole 160 rare antique books from London’s Heathrow Airport. The total worth of these books was over £2 million.
The thieves scaled the building, drilled holes through reinforced glassfibre skylight and entered the place using ropes without alerting any motion sensor alarms.
After searching through the stored boxes, they found the books they wanted and left the same way they entered – via the rope.
Some of the books taken were over 500 years old, many from the 15th and the 16th centuries.
Among them were early works by Galileo, Da Vinci, and Isaac Newton.
However the most valuable book lifted was a 1566 edition of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions) by Nicolaus Copernicus worth around £215,000. It presents the theory put forward by Copernicus that the Sun rather than the Earth is at the center of the universe.
The owner of the Copernicus book told the The Mail on Sunday:
“It was clearly a robbery done to order. It was a specialised gang. They took only books, nothing else.”
Because the books are so well-known, the book dealers are wondering just how these works will be fenced. This is also the reason why some say there is a book collector behind the heist who wants all the books for himself.
A list of the stolen books can be found in a pdf document on the Stolen-books website.
Anyone offered any of these titles should contact the London’s Metropolitan Police immediately.