Sneaky thieves carried out a daring Bank Job-style heist by breaking into a shop – by using a TUNNEL underneath the premises.
Baffled staff spent weeks trying to work out where power cables and copper piping had gone when the burglars left no damage or signs of a break-in.
Their hidden entrance was only discovered when undercover police staked out the centre overnight after the shop was raided six times in just six weeks.
Officers spotted the burglars moving around the inside of the Re-Use Centre which raises money for the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in Foleshill, Coventry, and arrested them on Monday night.
Police discovered the burglars used an old, disused tunnel that had contained pipes going to the building and running the length of a nearby row of houses.
They used the 200ft long tunnel to make their way into the centre so they could make off with cabling.
Ben Moore, centre manager from Re-Use, said: “It was almost as if they were ghosts – we thought we were going mad.
“There were no signs of entry or exit, just a bit of damage to the roof tiles.
“More often than not there was very little damage and we could open up again fairly quickly.
“We called police every time and they came out but couldn’t find anything.
“After a little while they said ‘look you’re ruining our (police) figures’, we need to come and stake it out.
“I was surprised they were willing to put in that much time and manpower.
“When they waited they came up trumps, the burglars came in that night and we found the tunnel.”
The derelict tunnel – which has now been blocked off – goes deep underground under a road before popping up in an air duct in the floor of the centre.
A spokesperson for West Midlands Police said a 27-year-old man has been charged with one count of burglary and drug possession and has been bailed to Coventry Magistrates Court until next month.
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