A gang of thieves was caught after spending a month digging a 1,000-yard-long tunnel from a manhole in the town of Acireale, Sicily, to their jewellery shop targets.

The thieves were caught after two of them were spotted emerging from a manhole in the town centre.

They dug the tunnel with picks and shovels and fitted metal and wooden props to stop it collapsing.

Detectives used mountain rescue teams and caving experts to follow the tunnel, which led to a number of high-end jewellery shops in the town. Tools were found in the tunnel along with hardhats and lights powered by a generator.

The men were named as Mario Catalano, 43, Mario Lanzarotti, 48, Rosario Albicocco, 22, and Salvatore Grasso, 38. They were caught "just a few metres" from their destination, police said.