Suspect in Suffolk 1993 £1m raid 'held in US after tip-off'

A former security guard wanted over a £1m heist in Suffolk 19 years ago was arrested in the United States following a tip-off, court documents have revealed.

Eddie Maher, 56, appeared in an American court on Thursday after being tracked down to Ozark, Missouri.

He disappeared after a security van theft outside Lloyds Bank in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, in 1993.

Mr Maher, from Essex, has been charged with firearm and immigration offences.

The van was later found abandoned and empty on the seafront.

Mr Maher, originally from South Woodham Ferrers, appeared at the United States District Court, in Springfield, Missouri, after being charged over immigration offences and illegally possessing firearms.

Documents filed at Thursday's hearing showed police had placed Mr Maher's Ozark home under surveillance after receiving "information about a fugitive from England".

They show officers were told Mr Maher had been using an alias and "was wanted in England" over the theft of a "large amount of cash while he was working as a security guard".

He was identified after police compared a photograph on his Missouri driving licence with the image police released following his disappearance.

Jeffrey Atwood, an FBI special agent, told the court Mr Maher had "threatened to kill the person who tipped police off about his identity".

The court heard police first spoke to Mr Maher on Monday, when he complained one of his guns had been stolen by his son's wife.

Under surveillance

"After making the report, an officer allegedly told Maher that he was wanted in England but the officer could not arrest him," Mr Atwood wrote in the court document.

"Maher's son overheard what the officer said and asked Maher about it after they left the police station.

Image caption The money was stolen from a security van outside Lloyds Bank in Felixstowe

"Maher told his son that they would have to leave again, and threatened to kill the person who tipped the police off about his identity."

Police were watching Mr Maher's home and on Tuesday followed him to a motel in Ozark, where he was arrested on Wednesday.

Mr Maher's wife, Deborah, told police that he had used the alias of Stephen King but had "primarily" called himself Michael Maher.

Mr Maher, who is believed to have been working in the US for a cable company, will next appear in court on 22 February.

Around 50 bags, containing £1m in £20 notes, £10 notes and coins, were stolen during the Felixstowe robbery.

They were transferred into a Toyota Previa Space Cruiser vehicle with false number plates, stolen earlier in London.

The Toyota was then driven to a car park on the nearby Landguard peninsula.

It is believed the money was transferred again into a car that was later found burnt-out in Essex.

Suffolk police said officers had begun a review of its investigation and was discussing extradition proceedings with the Crown Prosecution Service.

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