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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 20:18 GMT
Britain's biggest robberies
The theft of more than 25m in cash from a Securitas depot in Kent is one of the UK's biggest cash robberies.

It is the latest in a string of major heists.


20 December 2004 - Northern Bank

Northern Bank building
The Northern Bank raid was the UK's biggest cash robbery

A gang stole 26.4m from the headquarters of the Northern Bank in Belfast - the largest amount of cash ever taken in a robbery in the UK.

The scale of the robbery was so large that the bank had to withdraw its notes and replace them with new ones with different logos and colours.

Most of the stolen cash has yet to be recovered.

Three men, including an employee of the bank, have been charged in connection with the robbery.

3 July 1995 - Midland Bank Clearing Centre, Salford

A gang carried out the biggest cash robbery since the Great Train Robbery when they ambushed a Securicor van as it arrived at the Midland Bank Clearing Centre in Salford, Greater Manchester, on 3 July 1995.

Using violence and threats they forced the van's driver to let them in and then took over the van and drove it away. They escaped with 6.6m in cash, none of which has ever been recovered.

The van driver, Graham Huckerby, was later accused by police of being the "inside man" and was convicted in 2002, along with another man, and jailed for 14 years.

Both men's convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal in December 2004 after Mr Huckerby's lawyers proved he had only co-operated with the robbers because of post-traumatic stress.

11 February 2002 - Heathrow Airport

A gang of thieves carried out the dramatic robbery of $6.5m (3.4m) from a British Airways van in a secure area of Heathrow Airport.

The driver was forced from his van by the robbers, who threw him to the ground and bound his wrists.

They then transferred cash boxes containing the currency into another similar British Airways van before driving undetected from the airport.

8 November 2000 - Millennium Dome

Police foiled the attempted theft of 200m worth of diamonds on display at the tourist attraction in south London.

The robbers were caught as they smashed their way into the Dome with a JCB digger and had planned their escape up the river Thames on a speedboat.

But senior police officers, suspicious of a plan to steal the diamonds, mounted a sophisticated operation to thwart it.

Five men were convicted in relation to the attempted robbery and received between five and 18-year sentences.

2 May 1990 - City of London

A financial messenger was robbed in a quiet City of London side street at knifepoint of 292m worth of bonds he was delivering.

Police believe the mugging was carried out by Patrick Thomas, a small-time crook from south London who was found shot dead before being charged.

The police later recovered all but two of the bonds after a tip-off.

One man received a six-and-a-half-year sentence for laundering the stolen bonds.

July 1987 - Knightsbridge, London

More than 10m of goods was stolen from 120 safe deposit boxes at a warehouse opposite Harrods.

The robbery was an inside job planned with the help of the managing director of the centre.

Italian Valerio Viccei received a 22-year sentence for masterminding the theft.

November 1983 - Heathrow Airport

Six armed men gained entry to the Brinks-Mat high security vault at Heathrow airport by posing as security guards.

They escaped with 26m in gold bullion and diamonds after dousing a guard with petrol and threatening to set him alight unless he opened the vault.

Most of the gold bullion was never recovered.

April 1983 - Security Express

Ronnie Knight
Ronnie Knight was jailed for laundering the proceeds of the 1983 Security Express robbery
Nearly 6m was stolen from a Security Express depot in Shoreditch, east London.

Ronnie Knight, the former husband of actress Barbara Windsor, admitted handling some of the stolen money and was jailed in 1994.

Knight had spent 10 years in Spain after the arrest of his brother, John, who received a 22-year sentence for his part in the robbery.

1963: The Great Train Robbery

The Royal Mail Travelling Post Office
The Great Train robbers targeted a Glasgow-to-London mail train in 1963
Armed robbers, including Ronnie Biggs, stole 2.6m from the Glasgow-London Royal Mail train.

The train driver was struck on the head during the robbery and was badly injured.

The gang members were caught and sentenced to jail terms of up to 30 years.

Biggs later escaped from Wandsworth prison and fled to Brazil.

He returned to Britain in 2001 to serve the remainder of his sentence.




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