‘Fast Eddie’ Pleads Guilty to Massive Heist, Jailed for 5 Years

Armored Car Theft Suspect Ran for Nearly 20 Years

Yahoo Contributor Network

A 20-year-old case involving an armored car heist and British fugitive "Fast Eddie" Maher concluded Monday in a dramatic reversal of fortunes. The man, who spent years on the run in the United States, was captured in February 2012 in Ozark, Mo., a suburb south of Springfield. After being deported to the United Kingdom in May, Maher pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $1.5 million and was sentenced to five years in jail, according to the Springfield News-Leader .

* Maher stole around 30 bags of cash when he drove off with an armored vehicle transporting the money. The incident occurred Jan. 22, 1993, when more than 1.2 million pounds sterling were stolen, according to BBC News .

* Maher entered a guilty plea in the Southwark Crown Court in London. He was sentenced to five years in prison. The News-Leader states the criminal considered testifying he was pressured into the theft by other people, but declined to give such a statement.

* The BBC piece reveals three other people including Maher's sister were arrested for conspiracy to commit theft and are out on bail. Maher was turned in by his daughter-in-law in Missouri, who suspected something was wrong and did some online research.

* The thief earned the nickname "Fast Eddie" for his ability to evade British authorities and because he quickly disappeared. Although no one was injured, the heist was noted for its huge amount of money.

* Maher lived in as many as 11 states with his wife and two sons. British authorities believe the crime was absolutely premeditated. When he was arrested, the thief was working as a cable installer in southwest Missouri.

* The Guardian reports Maher left false trails for authorities to follow in Cyprus and Jamaica. He once owned properties in rural Colorado and New Hampshire. The only reason Maher was caught was due to telling the tale to his 3-year-old son. When the boy grew up and married, the young man then repeated the story to his wife who notified American police.

* Maher used aliases such as Stephen King and then his brother's name. Upon the revelation he used a fake name, property records were easily trackable to the 80-acre ranch in Colorado and a posh house in New Hampshire complete with hot tub.

* Before the theft, BBC News states Maher served in the military, spent 12 years as a firefighter and was a pub landlord. He lied about previous convictions to get his security job that led to the theft. One previous crime was for robbing a milkman in 1977.

* Reward money was offered for the arrest and conviction of "Fast Eddie." Jessica King, the man's former daughter in-law, has tried to claim the money. She is currently in divorce proceedings with her husband, Lee King, with a hearing for default judgment set for March 27, according to a search of Missouri Case Net court records. Efforts to deliver recent court filings to Lee King have come back as non-deliverable. The dissolution of marriage petition was filed in March 2012.

William Browning, a lifelong Missouri resident, writes about local and state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Born in St. Louis, Browning earned his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri. He currently resides in Branson.

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