West Midlands Police said the drugs squad offices were housed in a part-time police station on the northern outskirts of Birmingham. It closes at 7.30pm each evening and is guarded by a security officer from an outside company. Although there is normally a night duty detective in the offices, no one else was in the building at the time.
At 2.30am yesterday, two masked men entered the building, threatened the guard with an axe, tied him up and bypassed the security system, which a force spokeswoman described as 'intensive and sophisticated'. The raiders broke into the drugs store and removed 66 kilograms (145lb) of cannabis, which was evidence for a forthcoming trial.
Detectives were last night still trying to establish what else went missing from the store, where a number of other drugs seizures are kept. The security guard freed himself after the raiders had left and raised the alarm.
Police said both raiders were black. One was 5ft 10in tall, of slim build, and was wearing a dark shell suit and dark ski mask. The other was about 6ft tall, of heavy build, and wore jeans, brown suede shoes and a dark ski mask. He was carrying an axe.