'Fast Eddie' Jailed For 1993 Security Van Theft

5 March 2013, 13:08 | Updated: 5 March 2013, 13:29

A man has been sent to prison for five of years for stealing a security van containing more than a million pounds from outside a bank in Felixstowe in 1993.

Edward Maher, 57, pleaded guilty to taking the van at Southwark Crown Court and has been sentenced to five years in prison.

At 9.30am on 22 January 1993 a Securicor van made a delivery to Lloyds bank on Hamilton Road in Felixstowe in Suffolk.  One of the guards made a delivery to the bank and returned to find the van and the driver missing.

The empty van was found abandoned later in Micklegate Road in Felixstowe with £1,172,500 missing.

A Toyota Previa Space Cruiser was later found at a viewing area at Languard Fort in Felixstowe and it was established that it had been stolen from London in 1992 and was linked to the theft.

The driver of the van that day was 37 year old Edward Maher from South Woodham Ferrers near Chelmsford in Essex, who had since vanished.

Media appeals were put out and 197 witnesses were spoken to as police tried to find Maher.

Financial checks showed Maher had been in debt and in a difficult financial situation before he disappeared.  

The case went cold for nearly twenty years until he was arrested in the USA for firearms possession in 2012. During questioning, police in Missouri noticed there were immigration issues, which resulted in them contact police in the UK and finding out he was wanted by Suffolk Police.

On July 9, 2012 Maher was escorted back to the UK from America and was arrested upon his arrival at Heathrow.

He appeared in front of Ipswich Magistrates, where he entered a 'not guilty' plea, and was remanded in custody.

It was discovered that after arriving in the US Maher went under the name of Stephen King and also Michael Maher. He bought a house in Colorado for $120,000 cash under the name Stephen King.

In 1995 he bought a ranch in Colorado and a house in New Hampshire.