For the second time this year thieves have escaped with a haul of photography equipment after breaking into Sigma?s UK base in Hertfordshire, it has been confirmed.

Thieves raided Sigma’s ‘offices and warehouse’ in Welwyn Garden City on the night of 15 June, said a company spokesman.

The haul is believed to be worth several hundred thousand pounds.

AP has learned that one of the items stolen was the new 18-200mm OS lens, Sigma’s first UK delivery of this lens.

Sigma has apologised for any delays to its customers caused by the incident, saying that its supply chain was ?temporarily disrupted?.

?The theft was captured on CCTV and police are currently investigating,? said a spokesman for Sigma Imaging (UK) this lunchtime.

?The burglary is believed to have been carried out by a professional gang,? he added.

The company says it has a record of all the stolen products, along with their serial numbers.

?We ask members of the public to be aware of any Sigma products being sold at lower than usual prices.’

The raid came less than four months after thieves escaped with 45 lenses from Sigma’s warehouse, estimated to have a street value of £9,000.

Sigma has yet to reveal details of the kit stolen in the latest theft.

Anyone suspicious about a Sigma product they have seen for sale should call Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd on 01707 329999.

Or contact police on the Hatfield Crime Desk on 01707 638 102, quoting Crime No: B1/07/2485.