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On 22 February 2006, GBP53 million was stolen from a cash warehouse belonging to the Securitas company in Tonbridge, Kent. In terms of value, the robbery puts previous British capers, such as the Great Train Robbery, in the shade. This was a crime table for its audacity, carried out by an unlikely crew of players that included a used car salesman, two Albanian casual workers and a roofer. Five men were convicted at the Old Bailey in January 2008, which attracted nationwide media coverage. A sixth man, Paul Allen, was sentenced in October 2009 for his part. Having become close to the Tonbridge gang and the police during three years of research, Sounes relates a classic crime caper in irresistible, almost forensic detail. After the robbery comes the exciting, sometimes comical story of the getaway. Money is found and arrests are made but key characters slip out of the country, and millions of pounds are still missing. HEIST is the definitive account of these compelling events, is wildly entertaining, and a must for all fans of well-written true crime. Since the book has been written, Darren Arofsky (director of The Wrestler) has anunced he will direct a British-made film about the robbery.
Howard Sounes is the author of several acclaimed and bestselling works of non-fiction, including the true crime classic Fred & Rose (1995), and biographies of Charles Bukowski and Bob Dylan. He lives in London.