On-the-run Royston robber the “skull cracker” linked to armed robbery

14:30 07 May 2014

Police were called to a bank in Surrey this morning

Police were called to a bank in Surrey this morning


An on-the-run armed robber, known as the “skull-cracker” for pistol whipping his victims, is believed to have targeted a building society today (Wednesday).

Michael Wheatley is believed to have been arrested in East LondonMichael Wheatley is believed to have been arrested in East London

Michael Wheatley, 55, is suspected of being behind an armed robbery of an a Chelsea Building Society in Sunbury-on-Thames at 10.20am.

Police are searching the area for the suspect who left with an unknown amount of money.

Wheatley absconded from the HMP Standford Hill open prison on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, on Saturday which prompted a large manhunt by several police forces.

He was given 13 life sentences in 2002 for a series of bank robberies including one in Royston.

Detective chief inspector Chris Raymer, of Surrey Police, said: “Due to the nature of the offence and elements of the description, we have linked in with Kent Police as part of our enquiries and are working closely with them and colleagues in the Metropolitan Police.”

A spokesperson for Chelsea Building Society said: “We can confirm there was a robbery at our Sunbury branch this morning. We are helping the police with their inquiries. Nobody was hurt in the incident but staff were understandably shaken and upset. The branch remains closed currently and we hope to reopen as soon as possible.”

His escape has lead to calls for a review of the release of prisoners on a temporary licence.

Police say anyone who encounters Wheatley should not approach him and dial 999 immediately.

Related articles

More news stories

50 minutes ago
Susan Webster with a memory book made by staff at Addenbrookes hospital has returned home after suffering from a fall on the 14th October 2014 caused by a Subarachnoid haemorrhage which left her in a coma for 7 weeks

A woman who came close to death after suffering a haemorrhage which left her in a coma for seven weeks is calling out to friends in Royston to come and say hello, as she returned to her home last week.

Some of the North Herts dancers taking part in next week's show

When one of the world’s best-loved ballets comes to Stevenage’s Gordon Craig Theatre next week you can bet that many members of the audience will be wide awake – keeping a sharp eye out for their young stars in the making among the cast of Sleeping Beauty.

Historian Fonz Chamberlain with artist Pippa Westoby, who has designed a potential plaque

An historian from Melbourn who has been campaigning tirelessly for a permanent memorial to the founding member of Pink Floyd is on the brink of success.

The A10 was closed between Foxton and Shepreth following a fatality near Foxton Level Crossing. Picture: @tweetingmk

Police have confirmed that a 73-year-old woman from Royston died after being struck by a train at Foxton Level Crossing yesterday.


Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition