Mar 11


* Thieves snatch 100kg of gold worth £3million
* Stolen digger used to smash through depot walls
* Roads blocked with stolen vehicles to foil police response



Police are hunting a gang of thieves who carried out an Italian Job style heist by locking down an entire village to steal more than £3million worth of gold.

The spectacular operation is already being dubbed the crime of the century. Detectives believe the job was organised by the mafia and took months to plan.

In hit crime caper The Italian Job Michael Caine led a gang of British villains in a blitz on a bullion van in Turin escaping with millions in gold bars -only to be left dangling on a cliff edge when their bus skids off a mountain road.

The real life Italian job took place in Poggio Bagnoli, a small village in Tuscany, a short drive from the home of rock star Sting and in the Chianti area which is popular with British holidaymakers.

Using heavy machinery stolen from the local council and road closed signs the gang blocked off all access to the rural hamlet where gold depot SALP is located.

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