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The 2006 Securitas Depot Robbery: A £53m Cash Heist (With £32m still unaccounted for)

The 2006 Securitas depot robbery in Tonbridge, was the UK's largest cash heist. It began with a kidnapping on the evening of 21st February 2006 and ended in the early hours of 22 February, when seven criminals stole almost £53 million. The gang left behind another £154 million because they did not have the means to transport it.

The plot was well-planned. On the evening before, two men, dressed as police officers, pulled the depot manager, Colin Dixon, over as he was driving in nearby Stockbury. They convinced him to get out of his car, and forced him into their vehicle. At about the same time, two more men visited Dixon’s home and picked up Dixon’s wife and eight-year-old son; eventually all three Dixons were taken to a farm in West Kent, where the gang threatened their lives if Colin refused to cooperate with the robbery.

The Dixons were then forced to go with the gang to the Securitas depot, where Colin helped them evade the building’s security system. The gang proceeded to tie up 14 depot staff members, load the £53 million into a truck and, at about 2:15 a.m. on February 22, drive away. No one was injured in the robbery. As the stolen money was all in used bills, it was difficult to trace. Securitas and its insurers posted a £2 million reward for information leading to the arrests of the robbers and return of the money.

The gang entering the 'lock room'

Once the robbers had made off with the cash, Mr & Mrs. Dixon’s son freed himself from the cash cage and used the keys from a staff member to free her so she could release everybody else. The alarm was raised immediately.

This was and still is the largest cash robbery in British history, with £53,116,760 stolen in a heist that took a total of 75 minutes to load.

Fortunately, within 72 hours of the robbery, enough evidence had already been gathered including two burnt-out cars, one of which included Mr. Dixon’s briefcase, not burnt.

Some of the robbers had chosen not to cover their faces with balaclavas during the heist so police, therefore, suspected they’d used face-altering makeup and theatrics. A local make-up artist was questioned.

An abandoned white van with £1.3 million in cash, balaclavas, and guns was found near Ashford. Cash cages were dumped on a site where they also found money bags. A Redbull can in a car linked to one of the suspects. Receipts for theatrical makeup were found in one of the suspects’ homes. DNA data was easily increased.

One of the gang still disguised as a Policeman

The investigation led to them having their full list of suspects, as well as the insider working at the Securitas depot, who had beforehand, given video footage of his workplace to the gang.

Gang members Stuart Royle, Lea Rusha, Roger Coutts, and Jetmir Buçpapa all aged between 28 and 49 from Kent County, were jailed for life following a seven-month trial.

Lea Rusha, Jetmir Bucpapa, Emir Hysenaj, Roger Coutts, Stuart Royle

Emir Hysenaj, an Albanian, who had only started work at the depot two months prior to the robbery, was sentenced to 20 years with a minimum sentence of 10 years and deportation after his sentence.

Former mixed martial arts fighter Lee Murray and cage fighter Paul Allen escaped to Amsterdam after the heist and then made their way to Morocco, where they planned on living the high life.

Paul Allen in custody

Paul Allen had some of his assets seized in the UK and was extradited to trial in 2008. He was the only one to plead guilty and was sentenced to 18 years. He served only six years and was released in 2016. Not too soon after was he seen sporting a £45 000 Rolex and driving a £40 000 Mercedes convertible. Allen was severely injured on 11 July 2019 when he was shot at his home in north London; he was taken to hospital in a critical condition. He survived and by February 2021, eight men had been arrested in connection with the attack

Lee Murray

Lee Murray claimed dual citizenship in Morocco and couldn’t be extradited.

He was arrested thanks to the Moroccan police in 2010 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, which later increased to 25 years for his part.


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