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Three remanded over record British cash heist

Written by: Staff
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LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) Two men and a woman appeared in court today, charged in connection with the biggest cash robbery in British history, a 53 million pound raid on a security depot in southern England.

The three, the first to be charged over last week's huge heist in Tonbridge, Kent, were all remanded in custody until March 13 after a brief hearing held amid tight security at Maidstone magistrates court.

Car salesmen John Fowler, 57, and Stuart Royle, 39, were charged with conspiracy to rob the depot, run by Swedish company Securitas.

Fowler was also charged with kidnapping the depot's manager Colin Dixon, his wife Lynn and their eight-year-old son Craig.

Kim Shackleton, 39, self-employed, was charged with handling stolen goods.

They spoke only to confirm their names and addresses during the hearing.

Detectives said they had also arrested another man in East Sussex today on suspicion of conspiracy to rob the depot.

He was the 14th suspect to have been arrested since the raid, when a gang posing as police officers seized Dixon, then took his wife and young son hostage and threatened to harm them unless he helped them get inside the compound.

Kent police have been granted more time to quiz two other suspects.

They said the inquiry could last for years.

''This investigation is likely to continue for many months and possibly years as we track down those responsible and indeed all of the stolen money,'' said Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Leppard in a statement.

REUTERS OM PM1836

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