A gang of eleven suspected computer thieves thought to be involved in a series of multi-million pound raids on City banks was arrested yesterday.
The gang is suspected of operating a 'steal-to-order' scheme, also targeting universities, institutions and IT firms. The gang is thought to be involved in last week's theft of 49 pieces of computer equipment worth £1.6m from Deutsche Bank.
Police say the gang were targeting server motherboards in the raids. In the recent Deutsche Bank crime, Sun Microsystems server equipment was targeted specifically. The thieves are able to resell the equipment at up to 80% of its original retail value, police say.
The eleven men were arrested in dawn raids at 20 London addresses, 18 of which were in Islington, by more than 150 officers from City of London police and Scotland Yard. The raids, codenamed Operation Wheelwright, are thought to have followed weeks of covert surveillance and information gathering.
As well as tens of thousands of pounds worth of computer equipment, police also found two replica handguns and cannabis in the raids. Two further suspects are still being hunted by police.