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Another arrest over $92 million British heist

Detectives investigating Britain’s largest cash robbery arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of robbery in south London on Saturday, police said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Detectives investigating Britain’s largest cash robbery arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of robbery in south London on Saturday, police said.

Earlier Saturday, a 43-year-old man arrested during a raid on an industrial estate in southeast London was released on bail.

He had been arrested Friday, when police found a number of bags filled with notes in a yard behind the car repair business where he worked.

Media reports have speculated that up to $12.3 million was found during the police raid. Police have refused to confirm the figure, saying only that it amounted to “several million pounds.”

The robbery of the Securitas Cash Management warehouse in Tonbridge, about 30 miles southeast of London, netted $92 million after the thieves kidnapped the cash depot manager, his wife and their 9-year-old son.

Five people have been charged so far in the case.

Manager, family kidnapped
Two men and a woman who appeared at Maidstone Magistrates Court on Thursday were the first charged with involvement in the robbery of the Securitas Cash Management Ltd. warehouse in Tonbridge, 30 miles southeast of London.

Thieves took 53 million pounds, the equivalent of $92 million, during the night of Feb. 21-22.

Car salesman John Fowler, 57, was charged Wednesday with conspiracy to rob the warehouse and with kidnapping cash depot manager Colin Dixon, his wife, Lynn, and their 9-year-old son.

An additional charge of handling stolen goods was lodged in court.

Stuart Royle, 47, was charged with conspiracy to rob, while Kim Shackelton, 39, was charged with handling stolen goods.

All three were ordered to appear in court again March 13.

Police said Thursday they arrested another man on suspicion of joining in a robbery conspiracy.

Focus on farm
Fowler is the owner of a farm, near Tonbridge, which has been the focus of intensive police searches. Police have refused to confirm TV reports that a substantial amount of money was found at the farm.

Sky News TV speculated that the police were investigating whether the farm was the place where the robbers held Dixon and his family.

Staff went back to work at the cash depot Wednesday for the first time since robbers got away with their record haul.

The 14 employees who were held hostage by the robbers will not return until “they and their counselors decide the time is right,” Securitas spokesman Carl Courtney said.

The sophisticated robbery is believed to be the largest heist during peacetime. It eclipsed a $70 million theft from the Central Bank in Fortaleza, Brazil in August, a $65 million heist at the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Center in London in 1987, and a $50 million robbery at the Northern Bank of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2004.

But all four were dwarfed by the wartime theft of $900 million in U.S. bills and as much as $100 million worth of euros from the Iraq Central Bank in 2003.