Page last updated at 17:17 GMT, Monday, 27 February 2006

Securitas robbery: how it happened

On the night of 21 February 2006, an armed gang carried out what is thought to be Britain's biggest robbery, netting more than 53m from a security depot in Kent. Click on the map to see how the crime unfolded.

Manager abductedFamily abductedDepot raided


Colin Dixon's car, after it had been recovered by police
Colin Dixon's car was recovered several days after the robbery

1830 GMT: Two gang members posing as police officers driving an unmarked car persuade the Securitas cash depot manager Colin Dixon to pull over in his car at a lay-by close to the Three Squirrels pub on the A249 near Stockbury.

One man speaks to Mr Dixon and convinces him to get into their Volvo car, where he is handcuffed.


Dixon house in Herne Bay
The Dixons' Herne Bay home
1830 GMT: Two other gang members, also posing as police, go to Mr Dixon's home in Herne Bay and tell his wife Lynn and eight-year-old son Craig he has been involved in an accident.

They are taken from their home and driven around for six hours, before being taken to a farm building in west Kent.

Mr Dixon is eventually also driven to the farm, where he is tied up at gunpoint and told he and his family will be killed if he does not co-operate.


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

0100 GMT: Mr and Mrs Dixon and their son are taken to the cash depot in Tonbridge. He is forced to let one of the gang into the premises.

The robber forces a member of staff at gunpoint to open a gate, allowing the other members of the gang to enter in a number of vehicles. At least six men, some wearing masks or balaclavas and armed with handguns, threaten and tie up 14 members of staff, the manager and his wife and son.

Mr Dixon later said the "horrific experience" was the worst night of his family's life and had angered him "beyond belief", while Securitas revealed its staff had been subjected to "high levels of duress and intimidation" and had described their ordeal as "brutal, horrific and traumatic".

0215 GMT: After loading the money - new and used banknotes - into a 7.5 tonne white Renault truck, the gang drive away from the depot.

0315 GMT: Staff at the depot, who were shocked but uninjured, manage to activate an alarm to alert the police. Colin Dixon, his wife and their son escape unhurt.

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