May 18 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
EDDIE Maher duped his way on to the Securicor run to banks and post offices in the Felixstowe area 20 years ago by feigning a doctor’s appointment.
The 37-year-old told his bosses he needed leave work early to get to the appointment.
On Friday, January 22, 1993, there was no internet banking and a lot fewer cashpoints than there are today so there was sure to be plenty of cash on the van prior to the weekend.
Maher is understood to have arrived at work in a taxi, telling people his car had broken down.
However, his T-reg reddish-brown Opel Ascona was probably already in Felixstowe waiting to be used as a getaway vehicle.
Maher and his colleague made their first delivery of the day to Lloyds Bank in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, at around 9.30am.
While his co-worker was inside the bank, Maher drove off.
The armoured van was subsequently found abandoned in Micklegate Road, Felixstowe.
A total of £1,172,500 had been stolen, although £2,100 in coins was left inside.
The money was loaded into a Toyota Previa stolen in east London in November 1992, before the vehicle was dumped at a viewing area opposite Landguard Fort.
Maher’s epaulettes were found nearby.
His Opel was discovered burned out at Mead Gate Road, Nazeing, near Harlow, four days later.
Maher’s partner Deborah Brett had flown to the United States the day before the theft with their three-year-old son Lee.
Miss Brett, then 27, stayed in the Buckminster Hotel in Boston on January 21, 1993, but is understood to have left there on January 24.
Maher, Miss Brett, or Lee were not heard of again until Maher’s arrest last February.
Police believe Maher had accomplices in England.
Detective Inspector David Giles, of Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We are as satisfied as we can be there were other people involved and he (Maher) would have got a share of the money.”
Maher initially pleaded not guilty to the theft but today admitted the charge as he appeared at Southwark Crown Court.
At his plea hearing before Ipswich Crown Court in September it was said Maher admitted taking the cash, but did so under duress from others.
As a result Det Insp Giles and another officer from Suffolk went to Colorado in January this year as part of an investigation into what assets Maher during his early years in the US.
They discovered Maher had a substantial sum of money to pay for a house in cash, and along with other enquiries, there was no evidence that he only got away with a fraction of what was stolen.