Throwback Thursday: Lightning Strikes at Sercuritas Depot

So far, our posts have been mostly centered around sports and entertainment. This week’s #TBT post is not covering something in sports specifically, but more so an infamous event in history involving a sports figure.

On this day back in 2006, former Cage Rage and  UFC veteran Lee “Lightning” Murray and co. performed the largest cash heist in British history.

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Lee Murray and his crew hold up the Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent, Great Brittain. Photo credit Volvo Facts.
The Securitas depot robbery pulled a haul that would make Paulie and the Goodfellas jealous. The job in Tonbridge, Kent, Great Britain, raked in £53.1 million which equates to just shy of $65 million today. For reference, the real Lufthansa heist depicted in the aforementioned “Goodfellas” flick yielded $5.85 million.

 

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Lee Murray on his was to the octagon. Photo by Twitter.

Prior to his arrest, Murray was a force to be reckoned with inside the cage and out. In a Sports Illustrated piece, UFC President Dana White said, “He’s a scary son of a bitch, and I don’t mean fighterwise.”

His 6-2-2 record showed a lot of promise. In his final fight at Cage Rage 8, Murray suffered a loss  by decision to then-rising superstar Anderson Silva.

How Did They Do It?

Murray and his crew began the operation a couple of hours prior to midnight the day before, and like Jon Hamm‘s character in “The Town” said, “this is the not fucking around crew.”

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Bank robbers in the film “The Town”. Credit Giphy.
The assailants’ intricate strategy included, but was not limited to, costumes and disguises, switch cars with transfer points, as well as kidnapping and hostage situations.

The bank manager was pulled over by what he thought was an unmarked police car based on the blue lights flashing at him the grill of the car. He then got into the back of what he thought was a cop car, only to be cuffed and held hostage at gunpoint. They switched cars and proceeded to transport him to farm a half an hour away in Staplehurst.

Simultaneously, members of the crew abducted the manager’s wife and 8-year-old son after posing as police and falsely informing her that her husband had been into an accident. They were also transported at gun-point to the farm. The goal here was to drive home the message that non-compliance would result in serious and dire consequences for the family. It worked.

In a plain white van, the crew brought the Securitas manager and his family to the Tonbridge depot. Upon arriving, the robbers, armed with guns and knives while wearing ski masks, immediately bound 14 members of the staff placed the staff members inside the cash cages.

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Bank notes are loaded into the getaway truck of the Securitas depot robbery. Photo by Daily Mail.

After nearly two hours on the job, the robbers snatched up £53.1 million and made off with the record cash grab.

Fortunately for the hostages, one staff member happened to have the key for cage they were locked in and were able to free team and they were able to sound the alarm for the real police.

The Aftermath

The catch here? They got caught.

Within days, most of the robbery crew was apprehended. Murray, though, successfully evaded law enforcement for months. Murray was arrested three months later in Morocco where he was also booked on drug charges.
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Lee Murray: pro fighter turned bank robber. Photo by Gangsters Inc.

After racking up a £6 million investigation tab, more than 30 arrests were made by the end of 2006.

 

Of the six convictions in the case, four of them resulted in a life sentence. The lightest term dished out was 20 years. Murray was originally sentenced with 25 years, but had 5 years tacked on back in 2010. Due to the profile of Murray’s name, there have been a variety of publications that have documented the infamous 2006 event.

-Jordan Kurtz AKA Kurtzy F is a founding member of Comments From The Peanut Gallery.
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