A data centre in central London, reportedly belonging to Verizon Business, has been robbed by thieves dressed as policemen.

According to the Metropolitan Police, police were called by a member of staff of a telecommunications company office in King's Cross just after 10pm on Thursday night. "Three to five male suspects, dressed as police officers, gained entry to the property at approximately 21:00," the police said in a statement.

Verizon Business delivers IP, data, voice and wireless systems to large businesses and government departments.

It seems that the thieves managed to convince staff that they were investigating reports of people on the roof of the building.

Five members of staff, namely two women and three men, were tied up while the burglary took place. Although not injured, one victim was treated at the scene for shock by the London Ambulance Service.

The thieves made off with computer equipment, notably motherboards. Police are appealing for witnesses.

"Police uniforms can be made to order in the organised crime world, or hired from fancy dress shops," a police spokesman told Techworld. "It is not that difficult."

He advised people to ask for police warrant cards if in doubt. "The met badge is also quite distinctive, and there should be a collar number as well," the spokesman added.

Verizon Business could not be reached at the time of writing.