A book dealer has said he is "devastated" after more than £2 million worth of rare antique books and manuscripts have been burgled from a warehouse in Feltham .

A gang made off with more than 160 publications after abseiling into a warehouse near Heathrow Airport in a "Mission: Impossible-style" break-in, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Police are still investigating the heist which took place some time between January 29 to January 30.

Alessandro Meda Riquier said 51 books, including by Galileo and rare editions of Dante's Divine Comedy, had been taken.

A rare copy of this well known collection of poems by Dante were amongst some of the items stolen. Pic: Getty

The "jewel" in the haul was a 1566 copy of Nicolaus Copernicus's De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium, reportedly worth around £215,000.

He told Sky News: "I'm very upset because this is not something you can buy everywhere.

"Behind these books there is a lot of work because we have to search to try to find out where the books are - auction houses, collectors, colleagues - and there's big research behind these books."

He added: "They are not only taking money away from me but also a big part of my job."

The force confirmed a number of items were taken from the commercial warehouse.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Detectives are investigating a commercial burglary.

"A warehouse in Feltham was broken into and a number of valuable books were stolen.

"Detectives from Hounslow CID investigate."

Brian Lake, of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, said: "Nothing like this has hit the rare books trade before."

There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

The Metropolitan Police asked anyone with information to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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