'Fast Eddie' held in US 19 years after £1m raid

British man wanted over security van robbery in Suffolk is arrested by immigration officials

A British man wanted in connection with a £1m security van robbery has been arrested by police in the United States after spending the past 19 years on the run.

The family of Eddie Maher – known to police as "Fast Eddie" – expressed dismay after he was held by immigration officials in the apartment complex where he lived with his wife in a quiet residential area in Orzark, Missouri.

Detectives from Suffolk Police are keen to question the former firefighter over a 1993 robbery in Felixstowe in which 50 bags containing £1m in coins, £20 and £10 notes was stolen.

The money was loaded into a getaway vehicle before being transferred to another car which was later found burnt-out in Essex.

Shortly afterwards Mr Maher, 56, vanished along with his girlfriend and their son Lee, then aged four.

It is thought that Mr Maher flew to Boston after the robbery, where he adopted a new identity.

Since then there have been unconfirmed sightings of him in 17 different countries.

His son, Lee King, said his life had been turned upside down by the news of his father's arrest.

He wept as he told KSPR television that until then he did not know he had been born in the UK and believed he was two years younger than he actually was.

"My dad is one of the nicest guys you'll meet, he's only ever done what's good for us. He doesn't commit crimes, and he's the one that gets me out of trouble," he said.

"I just don't want people to see him in a bad light for something he did 20 years ago. There's no way he'd ever do this by choice."

Mr King said the family moved around a lot when he and his brother were young because of his father's job. They had spent the last two years living in the Orzarks where Mr Maher – who called himself Mike – worked for a local cable company.

FBI representative Bridgette Patton said that the arrest came after police were informed of "a possible fugitive in the area".

"We were led to believe that the individual in question could possibly be Eddie Maher, a fugitive from the United Kingdom," she told CNN.

A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman confirmed he had been arrested on immigration charges.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: "We are liaising with the US authorities regarding the detention of Eddie Maher, who police wish to speak to in connection with a security van robbery in Felixstowe in 1993."

Suggested Topics
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape