The Heist Sky One TV show: £500 reward offered to catch 'bank robbers'

Police are offering a £500 reward for information which leads to the capture of Alnwick ‘bank robbers’.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 12:40 pm
Jaime Maisey, Crime Scene Manager, forensically examines the doughnuts dropped at Bailiffgate Police Station.

Detectives 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’.

Facing a race against the clock, officers on Sky One TV show The Heist are now offering the reward in the hope it will help them close the net on the culprits.

Detective Chief Inspector Sue Hill

Detective Chief Inspector Sue Hill said: “We are offering a £500 reward for intelligence that may lead to any significant breakthrough.

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“While we have had lots of information from the wonderful community of Alnwick, we could do with some more specific intelligence rather than social media gossip.”

Their efforts were further fuelled this week when a box of pink iced doughnuts were dropped off at the front door of their fictitious police station, the former Duchess’s Community High School.

The scene of the 'crime'.

“It’s hard to believe someone had the brass neck to dump the doughnuts,” said Det Ch Insp Hill. “They were even marked out to ‘Suzie’ which seems to be a clear reference to me.

“One of my superintendents just missed them but we’ve examined CCTV footage which has been helpful.”

Two more people have now been arrested, in addition to one other last week, and are helping police with their enquiries.

“The investigation is moving really swiftly now,” said Det Ch Insp Hill. “We’ve moved on from our initial searches and research and are now in the arrest phase.”

However, the fugitives must only evade capture until Friday to keep their loot.

“We can’t think about the time we’ve got left,” said Det Ch Insp Hill. “We have to keep to our strategy and focus on what we want to achieve. The days might be against us but in any investigation you need to follow lines of enquiry and intelligence.

“Having said that, the time frame does mean we need the people of Alnwick to come forward with information.

“If they have evidence of someone being involved, believe someone to be acting suspiciously or in an unusual way, we would like to hear from them. They can remain anonymous and still get the reward.”

Police have also urged the general public not to mistake the ‘bank robbers’ for modern-day Robin Hoods, stealing from the rich to give to the poor, following their £1,000 donation to Alnwick Playhouse.

“We know they have been making some really extravagant purchases with cash,” said Det Ch Insp Hill. “Although they have donated money back to the community, including the hospice, high school and playhouse, it is a drop in the ocean compared with what they’ve spent elsewhere. They may be trying to buy the silence of the Alnwick community when, in reality, they are keeping a substantial amount for themselves.

“We’d ask that if anyone knows of some high-end items someone has recently purchased or noticed that they have made lots of cash purchases in store when they would normally use a credit or debit card, get in touch. It is a line of enquiry we’d be very interested in pursuing.”

Police are also aware of lots of £1 and £2 coins being used in the town and have been monitoring change converter machines in local supermarkets.

The ‘crime’, said to be similar to the Hatton Garden heist, took place between 4.30am and 7.30am on Friday, June 21 with the thieves wearing masks and boiler suits.

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. The result of forensic examinations is still awaited. 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.

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.