A raid on a convenience store at Heathrow’s International Trading Estate could be the work of the same gang who carried out the Brink’s-Mat gold bullion raid back in 1983, sources at The Met have confirmed.
Police say the armed gang overpowered security guards at the store and threatened to pour petrol over them if they did not reveal where the crisps and chocolate were being kept.
It is thought that before entering the store, the gang had no idea Lurpak was being kept at the premises overnight and had originally targeted a delivery of Pringles and a family size bucket of Cadbury Easter Eggs.
But upon entering the store, the gang could not believe their luck.
Following a tip-off from a security guard that there could be Lurpak in the back of the fridge, the gang turned their attention to a row of chillers located at the rear of the store. The store manager estimated that over 100 tubs of Lurpak were seized during the raid.
Food experts say the golden tubs of butter could be melted down and turned into other food products that look and taste similar to Lurpak and could be sold through underground food outlets across the UK.
Police are asking hardware stores to report any unusual sales of saucepans, frying pans and any other kitchen utensils that could be used for melting down Danish dairy products. Undercover officers are also monitoring high volume sales of crumpets and hot-cross buns.
The butter is estimated to have a street value of around £26m, similar to that of the gold bars taken during the raid of 1983.
Remarkably, the Pringles remained untouched.
‘They are a ruthless and highly organised gang of criminals who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a tub of Lurpak,’ said Met officer Rachel Castle. ‘The public are asked to be vigilant, but under no circumstances should they approach the gang. If you see anybody with butter or anything that looks like butter dribbling down their chin, then please contact the 24hr emergency helpline. This gang must to be stopped. We need to get a lid on this sort of thing before it spreads any further.'
Lloyds of London say a substantial reward will be paid for any information leading to the capture of the gang and the safe return of the butter.