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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 13:01 GMT
Securitas robbery: The investigation

Key developments in the police inquiry into the 53m cash depot raid in Kent on 21 February 2006 are listed in date order below. Click on the links for more details; open the large map to see what happened where.












THE ROBBERY - 21/22 FEBRUARY 2006

At 1830 GMT on Tuesday 21 February, Colin Dixon, the manager of the Securitas cash depot in Tonbridge, Kent, is abducted while driving home on the A249 at Stockbury, near Detling after being stopped by two gang members posing as police officers. At 2040 GMT his wife and child are abducted from their home in Herne Bay by two gang members, possibly the same men.

Three Squirrels pub
Colin Dixon was pulled over near the Three Squirrels pub

Mr Dixon, his wife and their child are taken to Elderden Farm, near Staplehurst. At 0130 all three are taken to the Tonbridge depot, where the gang gain access and tie up the family plus 14 members of staff. They load 53m in new and used banknotes into a 7.5-tonne white Renault lorry and drive away. They leave behind about 150m.

At 0315 staff manage to activate an alarm to alert the police.

FIRST ARRESTS - 23 FEBRUARY

Police, believed to be acting on a tip-off, arrest Michelle Hogg in Plumstead, south-east London.

A large amount of make-up and latex, used to make the prosthetic disguises the robbers used, is found in her rubbish bin.

Miss Hogg is questioned, but gives a statement saying she is too scared to help the police. She is then released.

FIRST VEHICLES FOUND - 23 FEBRUARY

Vehicles recovered by police, top to bottom: red van; Nissan Almera; burnt out Volvo
Vehicles involved in the robbery were quickly recovered by police

Police recover several vehicles involved in the robbery.

A red van with Parcelforce markings - used to hold Mr Dixon and his wife and child - is found at the Hook and Hatchet pub in Hucking.

The depot manager's silver Nissan Almera is found parked at the Cock Horse pub in Detling.

A Volvo saloon and a Vauxhall Vectra used by the robbers are found burning in Burberry Lane in the village of Leeds, near Maidstone.

VAN AND CASH FOUND - 24 FEBRUARY

Police remove Transit van
A white Transit van was found at the Ashford International Hotel

Detectives find a white Transit van linked to the robbery at the Ashford International Hotel, following a tip-off.

The van contains 1.4m in cash as well as guns, balaclavas and body armour.

CAGES FOUND - 24 FEBRUARY

Cash cages being examined by forensics officer
Cash cages were used to remove the money from the cash depot

Police recover 14 cages which were used to move the money from the cash depot on the night of the robbery.

The cash cages - some owned by the Bank of England and some by Securitas - had been dumped in a field near a farm in Detling, near Maidstone, along with packaging material.

HOUSES RAIDED - 25 FEBRUARY

Lea Rusha's house near Tunbridge Wells is raided by armed police, one of a number of raids across Kent linked to the security depot robbery.

Police also arrive at the home of Jetmir Bucpapa in nearby Tonbridge.

Rusha and Bucpapa are not at home. They are lying low in a cheap hotel in Barking, east London.

ROBBERS ARRESTED - 27 FEBRUARY

Rusha and Bucpapa are arrested by armed police as they drive a black VW Beetle through Greenwich, south-east London. Police shoot out the car's tyres before making the arrests.

FARM SEARCHED - 27 FEBRUARY

The farm near Staplehurst covers a large area

Police arrive at Elderden Farm near Staplehurst in west Kent, the home of car dealer John Fowler and his family.

Mr Fowler was arrested outside Maidstone Hospital the previous day.

News of the raid on the farm spreads. Soon 24-hour news channels have helicopters flying over the area.

It soon becomes clear the farm is as significant as Leatherslade Farm in Bedfordshire, the base for the Great Train Robbers.

LORRY FOUND - 28 FEBRUARY

The lorry matched the truck caught on CCTV
Police investigating the raid recovered a rented lorry in Kent
Detectives discover the 7.5-tonne white Renault lorry which was used by the robbers.

The vehicle - which Mr Fowler had hired from KTS Trucks in Kent - is examined by forensic experts although it emerges later that Fowler had had it washed at a valeting firm in Chatham.

But Mr Fowler, who claimed he had been "set up" by his friend Stuart Royle, is later acquitted of conspiracy to rob.

THREE CHARGED - 1 MARCH

Three people are charged with offences in connection with the robbery, including conspiracy to rob, handling stolen goods, and kidnap.

John Fowler, Stuart Royle and a woman who cannot be named for legal reasons appear in court the following day.

On 2 March Lea Rusha and Jetmir Bucpapa are also charged.

MILLIONS FOUND - 2 MARCH

A vehicle repair yard, ENR Cars, is searched at Welling in south-east London.

Money found in Welling
Some of the money was found at the car yard in Welling

Bags containing 9,655,040, much of it still in Securitas wrappers, are found in a container at the yard.

The owner of ENR Cars, Nigel Reeve, sub-let part of the yard to Roger Coutts, who kept several vehicles there as well as his speedboat, Shakey Jakey.

Coutts is questioned on his return from a skiing holiday, but is released and not charged until 27 June.

MICHELLE HOGG CHARGED - 12 JULY

Michelle Hogg is arrested again. She admits applying make-up to the robbers but refuses to name names and insists she had no idea what they were planning.

She is charged with conspiracy to rob on 14 July.



THE SECURITAS ROBBERY

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IN PICTURES
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