Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pounds Sterling]50m LORRY; the First Picture of 7-Tonne Getaway Truck ... and Now Firm Puts Up [Pounds Sterling]2m Reward to Trap Gang

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pounds Sterling]50m LORRY; the First Picture of 7-Tonne Getaway Truck ... and Now Firm Puts Up [Pounds Sterling]2m Reward to Trap Gang

Article excerpt

Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT

THIS lorry is being driven into a Securitas depot by robbers who are thought to have got away with up to [pounds sterling]50million.

Behind it is a car which police believe could have contained others in the gang and the Tonbridge depot manager who was forced at gunpoint to help them.

The thieves loaded up the 7.5 ton white Renault lorry with bags full of used banknotes and escaped after tying up 15 members of staff. Police issued photographs this afternoon from the depot's CCTV system as they stepped up the hunt for the men responsible for Britain's biggest cash robbery.

Another image showed the lorry inside the depot with the rear door open, apparently ready for the piles of cash to be placed inside in the early hours of yesterday.

"It was organised crime at the top level, planned and executed with military precision," said Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Leppard. A reward of [pounds sterling]2 million has been offered for information leading to the capture of the gang.

Mr Leppard urged anyone with information to come forward.

He said: "This reward is being offered because we know that someone out there will have seen or heard information that could be vital to our investigation, or they suspect who could be responsible.

"It may be that people involved in crime know something and we would urge them to come forward.

This is a significant reward, which reflects the serious nature of this robbery."

The manager of the depot was named as Colin Dixon, 51, of Herne Bay.

He was held hostage with his wife Lynn, 45, and their eight-year-old son Craig who were abducted from their home.

Police said that the gang threatened to kill them all unless Mr Dixon helped them pull off the audacious robbery.

Police said a gun was held at his head in front of his terrified wife and son. The gang threatened to execute them all unless he co-operated.

Describing the robbers as "armed, dangerous and violently threatening," police said the family were held in a remote farm building "somewhere in west Kent" for six hours.

"They held the manager in fear of his life and that of his wife and son," said detective chief superintendent Paul Gladstone. Kent police said Mr Dixon remembered being driven to a farm building after being abducted by two men posing as police.

His wife and son were brought there at gunpoint after being snatched from their Herne Bay home.

Mr Gladstone added: "It was a very traumatic ordeal for the manager and his family. They are still helping us with our inquiries."

Detectives involved in a hunt for the gang believe the thieves had inside information.

They are today trawling through a list of employees at the Securitas depot for anyone with criminal links.

Officers think the gang must have known so much money was being held there when they struck.

The robbers also knew personal details about the depot manager and his family. …

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