Northumberland 'thieves' win £111,000 each as they evade capture on The Heist
Two contestants from Alnwick have won £111,000 each on TV series The Heist.
Mickey Craig and Garry Jeffries were part of a gang of ‘thieves’ who broke into the fictitious Bank of Northumbria on Fenkle Street in Alnwick and escaped with £1million.
The series saw nine locals seeking to commit the perfect heist and then evade detection from a crack team of detectives.
Viewers who watched it on demand will have known the outcome for several weeks but the conclusion to the series, filmed last summer, has now also been aired on Sky One.
As the pair sailed off with their loot from the mouth of the River Tyne, Mickey, head skipper for Billy Shiel’s boat tours in Seahouses, said: “I don’t know when it’s going to sink in – I robbed a bank and got away with it.
“£111,000 – this smile is not going to leave my face for a long long time.”
Gary added: “I have lived month-to-month for every pay cheque.
“Life-changing is not even close, it’s more than life-changing. It’s been amazing, unbelievable...”
Afterwards, Garry, 43, said: “I’m ex-army and when I watched series one I loved it. When I found out series two was in Alnwick I applied and managed to get through.
“They wanted people to work in pairs so I asked my mum, Christine, to take part. She got caught but I managed to get away and I’ve shared my winnings with her – she deserves it.
“The odds were really stacked against us which is why only two of us ended up winning.”
Garry has already spent his share.
“I’ve paid a lot of bills, booked a holiday, landscaped the garden and bought the kids a few bits and bobs,” he said. “The money doesn’t actually go that far!”
He added: “It’s been great – to be debt-free is life-changing.
“I even feel like I’ve become a bit of a celebrity around Alnwick. The other day I went and did my essential shopping at Morrisons and a guy flagged me down and tooted his horn to tell me he’d enjoyed watching the show.”
How did you find the experience of being part of The Heist?
Garry: For me it was exciting the whole way through but at the start there was no worry about anything – we then quickly realised that it was going to be quite stressful!
How did you find dealing with Ray and Sue (detectives)?
Mickey: Well I only dealt with them for a short period of time - I only got interviewed once and arrested twice! I saw very little of Sue, but Ray and Keely interviewed us. Keely was very quiet really no talking but to be honest I was better dealing with Ray than I was with Keely. My last interview was with Sue and she was just giving it large all the time and I said to her just wind your neck in a man would you.
If you could go back and change one thing about how you went about things what would it be?
Garry: I wish I had my camera filming when I fell off my BMX! On the morning of the Heist, I crashed my son’s BMX on the way to the bank at about I’d say 45mph. So I was injured before we even got to the bank. It was a real bummer I didn’t catch it on camera I wish I had it.
Do you think that being in Alnwick made it easier to get away with the crime? Did the people of Alnwick also get behind the thieves during the process?
Mickey: It was hard to tell. I personally tried to stay off Facebook as much as possible during filming because I didn’t want that to be my downfall. But after filming I saw a lot of
support for us on Facebook from the locals, which was nice.
Do you guys have a favourite moment during the series?
Mickey: My favourite would have been the escape, when I picked my money up from under the water and we took it down the islands Neuton. I had a look out at the beach who
spotted the detectives putting a tracker in the money and so I knew I had to stash it elsewhere – when they came back the next day to look for it, I’d got out just in time!
How did it feel to be a criminal?
Garry: I enjoyed it! It was fun being the bad guy!
Over three weeks in June and July the nine contestants tried to evade capture and, if successful, got to keep their share of the money.
The series was produced by Shine TV who were particularly pleased with the way they were able to transform the former Duchess’s Community High School on Bailiffgate into a police station for this series.
They are also delighted with the drone footage they took of the Northumberland countryside, with the likes of Seahouses, Boulmer and Craster all featured on screen, as well as various parts of Alnwick.
All episodes of The Heist: Million Pound Bank Job are available on demand.