On-the-run ‘skull cracker’ who robbed Royston bank arrested

Michael Wheatley will appear at Guildford Crown Court on May 29

Michael Wheatley will appear at Guildford Crown Court on May 29 - Credit: Archant

Two men, one reported to be an on-the-run armed robber known as the ‘skull cracker’, have been arrested.

Surrey police said a 55-year-old man and a 53 year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit armed robbery at a Chelsea Building Society in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, at 10.20am today (Wednesday).

One of the men is believed to be 55-year-old Michael Wheatley, who was given 13 life sentences in 2002 for a series of bank robberies – including one in Royston.

Wheatley, who got his ‘skull cracker’ nickname for pistol whipping his victims, absconded from the HMP Standford Hill open prison on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, on Saturday, prompting a large manhunt by several police forces.

The two men were arrested in Tower Hamlets area of London and have been taken into police custody. The 55-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of being unlawfully at large.


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Detective Chief Inspector Chris Raymer, of Surrey Police, said: “I would like to thank the local community for their assistance and patience as we conducted extensive enquiries this morning.

“We have been liaising with colleagues at Kent Police and the Metropolitan Police as part of our enquiries and two men have now been arrested in connection with this offence.”

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Officers remain at the scene of the armed robbery in Surrey gathering evidence.

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