Romanian police have found a treasure trove of rare books, including early copies of the works of Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton that were stolen in a clever and daring operation in 2017 from a London warehouse.
The treasure, consisting of about 200 rare and valuable books, was discovered on Wednesday, hidden in a secret space under a house in rural Romania.
London City Police said in a statement that the recovered books totaled more than ($ 3.2 million).
Inspector Andy Durham said in a statement, “These books are extremely valuable, but the most important thing is that they are irreplaceable and have great significance for international cultural heritage.”
The books were stolen in a raid on a warehouse in West London. The thieves made holes in the roof, and they landed, avoiding the alarms, and carried books in 15 large bags, then returned from where they came with ropes, according to the police.
A joint investigation by the London Police, Romania and Italy, with the support of Europol and Eurogest in The Hague, revealed 11 other similar thefts across Britain, valued at two million pounds.
London police said a Romanian organized crime gang was the culprit.
The investigation resulted in several raids in the three countries in June 2019, and the arrest of 13 suspects who were charged in the United Kingdom with involvement in theft.
London police said 12 suspects pleading guilty will be represented in hearings and judgments beginning later in the month. The thirteenth suspect is due to appear in court in March.