Duo in cash theft probe are in the clear say police

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Two Eastbourne women arrested as part of an investigation into a £1.3 million security van theft nearly 20 years ago will not be prosecuted, police have revealed this week.

Deborah Brett, 47, and Margaret Francis, 64, of Wannock Avenue, Willingdon, were arrested on December 18 on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and assisting an offender.

Now Suffolk police officers say no further action would be taken against them.

It was officers who were investigating the case of “Fast” Eddie Maher, a security guard who stole more than a million pounds in 1993 in Suffolk and then went on the run to America for 19 years, arrested the duo, Maher’s partner and sister-in-law respectively.

Maher, who was arrested in the USA in February 2012, drove off with 50 bags of notes and coins while his Securicor colleagues went into a Lloyds bank branch in Felixstowe in 1993.

The 57-year-old, who gave his address as Willingdon, was jailed for five years at Southwark Crown Court earlier this month, after pleading guilty to theft.

The court was told that Maher was 37 when he disappeared for nearly two decades but in July last year was extradited to the UK from Missouri where he had been living with his partner Brett and their son Lee King.

Brett and Mr King also returned to the UK and went to live in Willingdon.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman said, “Three people arrested and released on police bail in connection with the investigation into a security van theft outside Lloyds Bank, Felixstowe, in 1993 will receive no further police action at this stage, and have had their bail cancelled.”

The third person who has been released from bail is Paul Muggleton, 54, from Woodford Green, east London, who was arrested on January 15 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft.