Thieves storm Express

   

A gang of seven youths stole a vital computer part worth £20,000 from Express Newspapers’ mainframe computer in a raid on Ludgate House on Sunday night, losing the Daily Express its second edition.

The part has a resale value of between £5,000 and £10,000.

White, black and Asian youths rushed past security guards and leapt over security gates to get to the computer department on the first floor. A Northern & Shell spokesman said: "It was opportunist high-tech thievery."

An entry guard said: "It was a completely harrowing experience. One moment it was quiet and the next we were surrounded by hooded youths. Everything they did seemed extremely well rehearsed."

The gang pulled out a vital memory board but the first edition was run on so that full distribution was still achieved. A stunned member of the production team said: "They were highly organised."

The youths used a stairwell to exit through the canteen, smashing a window with a fire extinguisher.

The Metropolitan Police said it was called just after 10pm by a security guard and told a large number of youths had forced entry and caused considerable damage to computer equipment. "Security staff were outnumbered and unable to stop them," said a Scotland Yard spokeswoman.

Security staff claimed it was the third attempt on the building in recent weeks.

By Jean Morgan

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