Skip to comments.The timetable of UK's biggest bank raid - Countdown to crime
Posted on 12/22/2004 10:52:41 AM PST by Murtyo
Sunday, 10pm: Armed and masked gangs take over the homes of two Northern Bank staff, one in Loughinisland and one in Poleglass. The families are taken to undisclosed locations.
Monday, 7am: The bank employees are told to go to work as usual at the Northern Bank HQ on Donegall Square West.
Monday, 4:30pm: Belfast city centre is packed with Christmas shoppers.
Monday, 6pm: After the bank closes only the two bank employees and security staff are left. Black bin bags are left outside to be cleared away by a 'refuse' lorry. The bank's vaults are believed to have contained up to £30m, much of the money has just arrived and is set to be consigned to the bank's 95 branches and high street dispensing units.
Monday, 8.30pm: Two hours later and a truck has been filled, it leaves Donegall Square West and travels to an undisclosed location.
Monday, 10pm: The two bank managers are left in the countryside outside Belfast. Their families are finally freed after a 24-hour ordeal.
Monday, 11.45pm: Police and bank officials are alerted to the raid. The PSNI's Crime Operations department is immediately brought in to investigate.
Midnight: Rumours of a £30m heist at Northern Bank's headquarters are already sweeping bars in Belfast.
Tuesday, 8am: Despite a virtual media blackout, the Belfast Telegraph establishes the bank's vaults have been looted and the haul could run to tens of millions of pounds. By then, we were predicting the raid was the biggest in UK criminal history
Tuesday, 12:30pm: Northern Bank spokesman insists it is business as usual at their banks and customers will not be affected.
Tuesday, 3.30pm: Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kinkaid says he believes at least £20m was stolen but says it is too early to say if paramilitaries were involved.
Tuesday, 11pm: Detectives reveal they are examining a burnt-out car found in Drumkeeragh Forest Park, Co Down, which is believed to be connected to the raid.
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