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1990: £292m City bonds robbery
At 9.30am on May 2 1990, John Goddard, a 58-year-old messenger with the money broker Sheppards, was mugged at knifepoint on a quiet sidestreet in the City of London.
Goddard was taking Bank of England Treasury bills and certificates of deposit from banks and building societies. The bonds were in bearer form and as good as cash to anyone holding them.
The mugger escaped with 301 Treasury bills and certificates of deposit, mostly for £1m each, and the total haul was £292m.
Keith Cheeseman received a six and a half-year jail sentence for his part in the robbery. Four other people in Britain were charged with handling the bonds, but were acquitted after the highly unusual step of offering no evidence was taken at was taken at the opening of their 1991 trials.
Police believed the City mugging was carried out by Patrick Thomas, a petty crook from south London. Thomas, who was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in December 1991, was never charged with the robbery.
City of London police and the FBI infiltrated the gang involved in laundering the bonds. The police recovered all but two of the 301 bonds thanks to an informant.