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Partner and sister of Securicor robbery fugitive Eddie Maher arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal 1.2mMaher's partner Debbie Brett, 47, and sister Margaret Francis, 64 arrestedArrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and assisting an offenderMaher to appear in court in March charged with theft from security van
17:47 GMT, 18 December 2012
Two relatives of fugitive security guard Eddie Maher, who disappeared for 19 years after 1.2 million was stolen from a security van in which he was working, have been arrested.
Maher's partner Debbie Brett, 47, and sister Margaret Francis were today arrested by Suffolk police officers on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and assisting an offender.
The arrests are in connection to the 1993 theft, in which the huge sum was taken from a Securicor van in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
On trial: Eddie Maher, pictured in 1989 and in 2012, is on trial in March charged with the theft of 1.2 million form a security van in 1993
Robbed: The security van that was involved in the theft in Felixstowe. Maher disappeared with the van while his colleague was making a delivery. It was later found half a mile away with both its contents and Maher missing
The women were questioned by officers in the seaside town of Eastbourne, East Sussex, and are being held in custody.
Their relative Maher, 57, is currently in custody, having been arrested by police in America after 19 years on the run from the British authorities.
Security guard: Eddie Maher's partner Debbie Brett, 47, and sister Margaret Francis were arrested by Suffolk police officers on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and assisting an offender
Maher was found in his rented luxurious home in Ozark, Missouri, in February this year after being turned in by his daughter-in-law Jessica King.
It later emerged that Maher had been living with Miss Brett under an assumed name while working as a cable TV installer.
He is currently awaiting trial at Ispwich Crown Court, charged with stealing 1,172,500 from the van.
Maher has denied the charge, however, claiming he was acting under duress when the cash was stolen from the van.
The former-fireman disappeared along with the van while a colleague was making a delivery to a Lloyds bank branch in Felixstowe.
The van was later found abandoned half a mile away, with both its contents and Maher missing.
Police believe that 50 bags of cash
were transferred into a grey Toyota Previa Space Cruiser which had
earlier been stolen from a garage in Stepney, east London.
The Toyota was then driven to a car
park near Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, where the bags were transferred to
another getaway car.
Miss Brett was living with Maher in
South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, and disappeared along with their
three-year-old son at the same time as him in 1993.
Home: Vehicles parked outside a rental townhouse where Maher lived in Ozark, Missouri
Abandoned: Maher's home in Freemantle Close, South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, before he went missing in 1993