LONDON (NYTIMES) - What the burglars lacked in panache, they made up for in their ability to stymie London police after stealing a valuable collection of handguns brandished by James Bond himself in three movies.
On Monday (Sept 21), the Metropolitan Police appealed to the public for help in finding the thieves, six months after the burglary. They released security camera footage of a decidedly un-Bondlike vehicle - a stubby four-door Vauxhall hatchback - that they believe the burglars were using to case the home of the collector they robbed on March 23.
Three thieves broke into the home in Enfield, north London, escaped through a window and fled in the getaway car, police said, making off with five guns that had been used in various James Bond films.
Police are still searching for four of the weapons.
One, a .22-calibre Llama pistol with a yellow handle that was featured in Die Another Day (2002), was found "severely rusted" in a field about 16km north of the home by a passer-by.
Two other stolen weapons - a Beretta Cheetah pistol and a Beretta Tomcat pistol - were also used in Die Another Day.
Another of the firearms, all of which had been "deactivated", a Smith & Weston .44 Magnum, was featured in Live And Let Die (1973).
A Walther PPK, used by actor Roger Moore in the 1985 film A View To A Kill during a famous scene in which actress Grace Jones flees the Eiffel Tower on a parachute, was also taken.
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley said the guns were "very distinctive and will almost certainly be recognised by the public and anyone who is offered them for sale". The Smith & Weston .44 Magnum is the only one in the world to have been finished entirely in chrome.
No arrests have been made related to the theft, police said, adding that the three supposed thieves were described as wearing dark clothing and face coverings and having Eastern European accents.
Authenticated props like the stolen firearms "truly become priceless because there is never going to be another one", said Mr Larry Zanoff, assistant manager of the armory at Independent Studio Services, a prop company with locations in the United States and London.
"The sky's the limit," he said. "It becomes a seller's market."
The weapons had been set to be displayed in a national exhibition, police said.
The private collector who owned the guns, Mr John Reynolds, an engineer, was devastated by the burglary, he told The Evening Standard. The theft happened while he was working after he had volunteered to take a night shift, he told the paper.
"I sat facing the wall for the next two days," he said. "The flame has gone out of my life."