Another “Mission Impossible” style warehouse theft has taken place in the UK: In January, thieves accessed a warehouse via the roof and rappelled down, defying cameras and laser beams, and stole $2.5 million worth of the rarest books in the world.
The M.O. looked similar to that of the thieves who stole millions worth of the Queen’s champagne from a warehouse outside London in 2015, a theft we covered in the blog series “Lifting LaTour.” Electric Guard Dog decided to catch up with former Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent and CargoNet VP of Operations, Keith Lewis (pictured below).
“I haven’t looked at this in depth, but at a glance, I’d say it’s highly likely this is the same group of thieves, probably an international gang.” Keith says. “Thieves are pretty consistent, and there are a number of similarities. They:
- Came in through the roof
- Knew how long the ropes had to be and where to land
- Knew there were CCTV cameras and beams and that did not prevent them
- Multiple factors suggest insider knowledge of the facility
- Bypassed a lot of other valuables, stealing only what they came there to get
- Didn’t exit through the doors.
“Many thieves will exit through the doors, uncaring if they set off alarms as they are leaving. But these guys lifted all the books out via the roof. They must’ve know the beams were around the doors. They knew this warehouse. Highly likely this gang already had a buyer for the books. The thing that really compels me to believe it’s the same guys is this: How many thieves in the world have both the physical ability and the moxy to pull off this kind of raid? Let alone the contacts to fence fine champagne and rare books?”
Keith has a point: this gang would make Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Moriarty proud.
Keith reiterates a word of caution to warehouses. “Thefts from warehouses happen over here, too, all the time. And the fact is, a junkyard often does a better job of protecting their perimeter. After a warehouse is hit, they almost always fix the breach and nothing else. Except they [the thieves] now know they are open for business. The cameras are often antiquated, it's not in the budget to upgrade, let alone, afford a guard. If you have store high-value products in your warehouse, DO YOUR JOB. Improve your security. Start at the perimeter. Electric Guard Dog has warning signs, it’s unlikely they will touch it, and if they do, an alarm goes off.”
“I'm not terribly sympathetic when a warehouse gets robbed a second time. You hold $10 million worth of stuff and do nothing new? Get the security you need before this happens the first time."
Ready for perimeter security? Contact Electric Guard Dog today for a free site security evaluation.
Read more on our LaTour Series: