Page last updated at 09:05 GMT, Monday, 6 March 2006

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.

Key locations of the robbery and police inquiry

THE ROBBERY - TUESDAY/ WEDNESDAY 21/ 22 FEBRUARY

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

After being held at a farm building somewhere in west Kent, 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 large amounts of new and used banknotes into a 7.5 tonne white Renault lorry and drive away.

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

CCTV RELEASED - THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY

Truck used in Securitas raid
CCTV images show the robbers' truck arriving at the depot

The first major piece of evidence is made public on Thursday afternoon, as police release CCTV footage from the depot showing the lorry used by the robbers to transport the cash away.

It was earlier revealed by the Bank of England that the amount stolen is more than 25m, and a 2m reward has been offered by Securitas and insurers for information about the robbery.

FIRST ARRESTS - THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY

Portman Building Soc. Bromley
A woman was detained at the Portman Building Society in Bromley

On Thursday evening, a 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman are arrested at separate addresses in Forest Hill, south London. The properties are searched and subjected to forensic tests.

A 41-year-old woman is detained in Bromley, south-east London, and questioned by detectives.

FIRST VEHICLES FOUND - THURSDAY 23 FEBRUARY

Vehicles recovered by police, top to bottom: red van; Nissan Almera; burnt out Volvo
A number of vehicles were recovered by police on Thursday

A further breakthrough on Thursday sees police recover three vehicles thought to have been involved in the robbery.

A red van with Parcelforce markings - thought to be have been used to hold Mr Dixon and his wife and son - is found at the Hook and Hatchet pub in Hucking while the depot manager's silver Nissan Almera is found parked at the Cock Horse pub in Detling.

A Volvo saloon believed to have been used by the robbers posing as police to stop Mr Dixon is found burning in Burberry lane in the village of Leeds, near Maidstone.

VAN AND CASH FOUND - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY

Police remove Transit van
Police removed the van for forensic examination

On Friday, detectives find a white Transit van linked to the robbery at the Ashford International Hotel, following a tip-off from a member of the public.

Police later say the van contained 1.3m in cash as well as guns, balaclavas and body armour.

CAGES FOUND - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY

Cash cages being examined by forensics officer
The different coloured cash cages were dumped in a field

On Friday evening, police recover 14 cages plus packaging material that 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 in Detling, near Maidstone.

Also on Friday, all three people arrested in connection with the raid so far are released on police bail.

E-FIT RELEASED - FRIDAY 24 FEBRUARY

Police issue a computer image of a man who allegedly posed as a police officer in an unmarked car with flashing blue lights installed behind the front grill to trick Mr Dixon into getting out of his car on Tuesday.

MORE ARRESTS - SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY

Two men, aged 55 and 33, are arrested in the Maidstone area on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery.

At the same time a statement is released from Mr Dixon, urging the public to help to catch the gang responsible for his family's "horrific" ordeal.

HOUSE RAIDED - SATURDAY 25 FEBRUARY

A house near Tunbridge Wells is raided by armed police on Saturday night, one of a number of raids across Kent linked to the security depot robbery.

A 49-year-old man is arrested in connection with the Transit van recovered on Friday and later released on bail, along with the two men arrested earlier on Saturday, meaning all those so far arrested have been bailed.

CAR SHOT AT - SUNDAY 26 FEBRUARY

Witnesses in Tankerton, near Whitstable on the Kent coast, report seeing armed officers shooting out the tyres of a BMW car on a seafront road.

Police later confirm two men were arrested.

NEW ARRESTS - MONDAY 27 FEBRUARY

Police reveal a total of five men have been arrested in the 24 hours to Monday evening, including those held after the BMW shooting on Sunday.

Two more were arrested in Greenwich, south-east London, on Monday morning, also in a "pre-planned firearms operation". All four are being held at police stations in Kent.

A fifth person arrested in the same period is released on bail.

Police also mount a series of raids on properties in Kent and across south-east England.

FARM SEARCHED - TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY

The farm near Staplehurst covers a large area

A large search operation is carried out at a farm and surrounding land near Staplehurst in west Kent. A number of police vans are in the immediate area and officers could be seen conducting a fingertip search of undergrowth and land.

The operation is believed to be connected to the heist, although Kent Police do not confirm it.

LORRY FOUND - TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY

The lorry matched the truck caught on CCTV
Lorry recovered in Kent by police investigating the raid
Detectives announce they have recovered the white lorry believed to have been involved in the robbery, although they do not say where it was found.

The vehicle - fitting the description of a truck caught on CCTV at the depot - is being examined by forensic experts.

PEOPLE CHARGED - WEDNESDAY 1 MARCH

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

Detectives charge two other people in subsequent days.

MILLIONS FOUND - THURSDAY 2 MARCH

A vehicle repair yard is searched at Welling in south-east London, a search which uncovers up to 7m.

A 43-year-old man is arrested in the raid on ENR Cars at Graves industrial estate in Welling and is later released on police bail

The raid was a joint operation involving officers from Kent and the Metropolitan Police.

The owner of ENR Cars says he had sub-let half the yard to someone else and adds that he is "totally dumbfounded".

FURTHER ARREST - SATURDAY 4 MARCH

A 28-year old man is arrested by police investigating the robbery. The arrest is made in the Bexley area of south east London.

Forensic officers are also dispatched to the area as the investigation continues.

The operation was carried out by the Metropolitan Police and Kent Police. The man is held at a police station in Kent, and released on bail the following day.



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