British must hate to admit it, but robberies in their nation have been quite common over the last few decades to the point of having some of the largest ones occurred in several of their banks and warehouses.
Although this is nothing to celebrate, they have become part of the nation’s history. It is vital to go over the details of each one to make sure we aren’t missing any important part, either if the robberies took place decades ago or recently in the 21st century.
Among the ones we can mention, we have to go over the Securitas Depot robbery as one of the largest heists in England and how many people were involved, both victims and the perpetrators.
We love reviewing this type of story to see if, maybe, we can crack some parts that were left unsolved, either if the case is closed, solved, or still open and with people left free during all these years. What is the case with the Securitas robbery? We will find out.
Largest Cash Robbery in British History?
It is hard to compete with the robberies and burglaries in the nation. Still, the Securitas Depot robbery sure takes the cherry on the cake when it comes to cash and how much it has influenced England’s criminal records.
We had to start with this mention because the crime involves lots of details, followed situations even after the incident occurred, and lots of aspects inside the place where the burglary occurred.
Where should we start, though? Probably with the simple part.
Colin Dixon, manager of Securitas Depot, was driving his Nissan Almera along the A249 road in Tonbridge, Kent.
During his drive, he was stopped by who he believed was an unmarked police car at the time since the flashing blue lights below the grill led him to believe it was, indeed, one.
However, a man approached him dressing in high-visibility clothing, and Dixon got pulled into the other car, where he was also handcuffed.
He was taken west on the M20 motorway until he reached the West Malling bypass. There he was tied up and then transferred to a van that took him to Staplehurst.
Many would believe the kidnapping ends here. However, at the same time, Dixon’s wife and his eight-year-old son were taken hostage at their home located in Herne Bay,
The hostage situation was able to take place after the kidnappers, dressed in police uniforms, knocked on the door and told the wife and son Dixon was involved in a car accident.
However, they took both of them as hostages when they came in and moved them to Staplehurst farm with the manager.
Once the kidnapping was done, Dixon was threatened with his family that if he didn’t cooperate or failed in the process, his family would be in danger along with his own life.
Therefore, he didn’t have any other option but to cooperate. At around 01:00 on Wednesday 22, February 2006, Dixon, his wife, and his son were moved using a white van to the Securitas depot in Tonbridge.
Dixon allowed the kidnappers and criminals in by providing assistance, and once inside, they forced the staff to open the gates at gunpoint.
Balaclavas hid the gang members’ faces, and they were armed with handguns, shotguns, AK-47 assault rifles, and a Skorpion submachine gun.
To avoid any troubles, the 14 members of the staff and Dixon, along with his family, were tied up and placed in cash cages.
The gang filled a 7.5 tonne white Renault lorry with £53.116.760 in used and unused Bank of England sterling banknotes.
Another £154 million was not possible to fit into the lorry, and it was abandoned by the gang when they left at 02:15.
Staff triggered an alarm that notified the police at 03:15. All hostages were unharmed, fortunately, but very scared and shaken by the situation that just happened.
Securitas reimbursed the Bank of England £25 million that day and promised the public that the company would cover any additional losses.
Finding the Money: Largest Reward Offered
How would you usually manage a robbery of this magnitude? By offering lots of money or going for the traditional way?
Since Securitas had lots of responsibility on its shoulders and the company had to make up for all the losses of the Bank of England, it was clear they wanted to solve the crime as soon as possible and find as much of the money as they could.
This is why the day after the robbery, for any information on the heist, Securitas and their insurers offered a reward of £2 million.
Two arrests were made in Forest Hill (South London) on February 23, 2006, which involved a managed 29 and one woman who was 31 at the time, who was taken into custody at separate addresses on suspicion of conspiring to commit robbery.
A third suspect, a 41-year-old woman, was also arrested at Bromley’s Portman Building Society branch on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
During this time, the police discovered several vehicles in the robbery, including a Parcelforce van that was thought to be used in Colin Dixon’s abduction.
This vehicle was later found abandoned at Hook and Hatchet pub, Hucking, near Maidstone.
Dixon’s Nissan Almera was discovered in the Cock Horse pub car park in Detling. Two Volvo S60s and a red Vauxhall Vectra were also found nearby.
After a tip from a public member, police recovered a white Ford Transit van in the Ashford International Hotel car park. After a forensic examination of the contents, it was revealed that the van had £1.3 million in its contents and guns, balaclavas, and body armor.
On Saturday, February 25, 2006, forensic and armed officers raided the homes of Lea Rusha and Jetmir Bucpapa while they were not at home.
They found shotgun shells in Rusha’s home and hand-drawn plans for the depot.
Kent Police confronted Rusha and Bucpapa at Tankerton, near Whitstable, the following day. They fled in a blue BMW 3 Series coupe. Some witnesses claim that a police marksman fired a tire, while others believe that a “stinger device” was used.
Two men were taken into custody in London’s Greenwich by armed officers on February 27, 2006. Police recovered the Renault Midlum; a white, 7.5-ton Renault Midlum lorry thought to be used to transport stolen money, on the following day.
Police raided Welling’s car yard on Thursday, March 2, and found £7 million worth of cash. Three people also appeared at Maidstone Magistrates Court that day.
John Fowler, a car dealer, and owner of Elderden Farm, was charged in connection with the conspiracy, handling stolen goods, and three counts of kidnapping.
Stuart Royle was also charged with conspiracy and Kim Shackleton with handling stolen goods.
Lea John Rusha and Jetmir Bucpapa were both charged with conspiring to commit robbery.
Four British men were detained in Rabat, Morocco, on June 25, 2006. Kent Police confirmed Murray’s arrest and said that more than 30 people were now being detained as part of the investigation.
Police had requested the Home Office to provide at least £6 million towards future trials preparations and investigation expenditures.
Paying for Crimes & Missed Money
As much as we would like to mention that the money was found, the reality is that it wasn’t, and over £35 million are still missing.
Unfortunately for Securitas, the company had to cover with the insurance and pay Bank of England all the money that wasn’t found. As of 2021, Seucirtas no longer works with cash; instead, the Vale Road depot was sold to Vaultex.
The trials for the previous criminals found and arrested were conducted over the next few months, leading to over a decade of prison for most of them, but some like Lee Murray had their sentences increased to 25 years or a bit less.
But what do we know about the money missing, and where could it be?
Police officers and organizations believe it is already in the hands of organized crime networks. The robbers who were unable to be caught are just enjoying their best lives in remote countries and nations.
In the case of Keyinde ‘Kane’ Patterson, who the authorities believe was the key for the robbery and kidnapping plan to take place and actually work, was never found. Although they believe he is in the West Indies, it is impossible to know for sure.
Also, it is believed he has most of the money from the robbery, and we are just a little bit envious of the amount he might have.
Others like Malcolm Constable were found dead after he committed suicide with a shotgun. Though his brother Derek believed he was involved, there was never evidence of Malcolm’s participation.
We would love to know where the money is, but there’s absolutely no clue, and as a result, the Securitas Depot remains the biggest cash robbery in the UK as of now.
5 Facts About the Securitas Depot Robbery
- The amount of money stolen and confirmed is about $75 million worth of banknotes.
- Authorities believe over 30 people were involved in the crime since 30 arrests were made over the last few years since it occurred.
- Emir Hysenaj, Roger Coutts, Stuart Royle, and many more are part of the gang members involved.
- The Northern Bank robbery in Belfast, Northern Irland, was the biggest cash robbery in UK-Irish history in 2004, but this Securitas robbery then surpassed it.
- Four of the main members of the gang who were arrested were given life sentences, and they must serve at least 15 years.
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