The Heist Sky One TV show: Police appeal for public 'to do their moral duty'

The detective leading the investigation into a ‘bank robbery’ in Alnwick has called on the public ‘to do their moral duty’.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 27 June, 2019, 20:30
Detective Chief Inspector Sue Hill.

Police have not revealed how much money was stolen in the raid on the fictitious Bank of Northumbria on Fenkle Street but have confirmed it is ‘a life-changing sum’.

Now, officers on Sky One TV show The Heist are offering a potential reward for any information which leads to the capture of the culprits.

The crime scene.

Detective Chief Inspector Sue Hill said: “A substantial amount of money has been stolen but there could be a reward for someone with information that leads to an arrest.”

“There is a concern for us that this sort of act is getting people behind the thieves but they have to ask themselves ‘would they be getting behind them if they knew how much money they have?’

“It’s the sort of sum most people could only dream about. We believe some of the people involved have significant wealth and I would argue people have a moral duty to come forward and help us. It’s their money, it was in their bank.”

Police have appealed for witnesses.

Police believe they made their way to a warehouse on the South Road Industrial Estate before dispersing. However, their loot was so great that they left some behind.

Detectives believe there was a large element of planning in the crime and getaway. However, they found a red bag at the industrial estate which they hope might provide a lead. They have also asked for dashcam and CCTV footage to be shared and are carrying out house-to-house inquiries.

Two vehicles are said to be involved: a Silver Volvo with the registration CV54 RFZ and a Ford Focus with the registration BF58 ZKK.

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A red bag found at the scene.

One ‘significant suspect’ has been arrested but officers believe they are closing in on others and hope forensic investigations will help them.

Det Ch Insp Hill said: “Our suspects were in the bank for nearly two hours and 20 minutes. We know that eight of them turned up in two vehicles and we have tracked them down to a warehouse on the South Road Industrial Estate.

“It was a theft similar in nature to the Hatton Garden heist. We know they’ve used power tools and done a lot of preparation in planning the robbery, their escape and how they would disperse.

“The red bag could be a key. They left tools and cash which we think they’ll have wanted to take with them but it was too heavy. We’d appeal for anyone who recognises the red bag or where it comes from. We also want to hear if anyone knows about the masks or boiler suits used in the robbery.

“We’re sure the thieves would have been pretty active in the day or two leading up to the heist, especially around the industrial estate as they planned their getaway. Did anyone see anything suspicious? If so, let us know.”

“One lady we’ve spoken to saw two men in boiler suits when she was on Alnmouth Road and they threw some money at her, shouting ‘happy birthday!’”

She also warned people to take care on what they post on social media.

“We’re monitoring all activity on our Facebook and Instagram feeds and some of the comments which have been made are a concern,” she said. “Loose tongues cost lives so I’d urge people to be very careful with what they say. This is a very serious issue.”

Shine TV’s series pits a team of 15 real detectives, active and retired, against a team playing the part of criminals. Those taking part have not broken the law. If contestants evade capture, they will keep their share of the money.

The public can call the investigations team on 01665 497 185, email witness@shine.tv or search @theheisttv on social media.