What the burglars lacked in vigor they made up for in their ability to thwart the London police after stealing a valuable collection of handguns that James Bond himself wielded in three films.
On Monday, city police asked the public for help locating the thieves, six months after the break-in. They released surveillance camera footage of a decidedly un-Bond-like vehicle – a blunt, four-door Vauxhall hatchback – which they believe the burglars had confiscated the collector’s house they robbed on March 23.
Three thieves broke into the house in Enfield, north London, fled through a window and fled into the getaway car, police said, and set off with five guns that had been used in various “James Bond” films.
The police are still looking for four of the weapons. A 22-caliber yellow-grip llama pistol featured in Die Another Day (2002) was found “badly rusted” by a passerby in a field about 10 miles north of the house. Two other stolen weapons – a Beretta Cheetah pistol and a Beretta Tomcat pistol – were also used in Die Another Day.
Another of the firearms that had all 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 the actress appeared Grace Jones escapes from the Eiffel Tower on a parachute was also taken.
Detective Inspector Paul Ridley said the guns were “very distinctive and would almost certainly be recognized by the public and anyone who puts them up for sale.” The Smith & Weston .44 Magnum is the only one in the world that is made entirely of chrome.
No arrests were made in connection with the theft, police said, adding that the three alleged thieves wore dark clothes and face coverings and had Eastern European accents.
Authenticated props like the stolen firearms “really become priceless because there will never be another,” said Larry Zanoff, assistant manager of the armory at Independent Studio Services, a prop company with offices in the US and London.
“The sky is the limit,” he said. “It’s becoming a seller’s market.”
The weapons should be exhibited in a national exhibition, the police said.
The private collector who owned the guns, John Reynolds, an engineer, was devastated by the break-in, he said The evening standard. The theft happened while he was working after he volunteered for a night shift, he told the newspaper.
“I sat in front of the wall for the next two days,” he said. “The flame has disappeared from my life.”