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Fugitive in 20-Year-Old UK Heist Caught in Missouri

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(OZARK, Mo.) -- A former British security guard suspected of absconding with a van containing $1.5 million in a 1993 heist has been arrested in Missouri after it was discovered that he was living with his family in the U.S. under an assumed name for 15 years.

Edward John Maher, known in the U.K. as "Fast Eddie" since he vanished after driving off with $1 million pounds, was apprehended by the FBI and police in Ozark, Mo. on Wednesday, according to FBI agent Josh Nixon.

"Our investigation with Ozark Police Department pretty much determined he was likely the fugitive," Nixon told the Springfield News Leader. "He was fully cooperative when he was confronted."

Once apprehended, Maher, who was working as a cable installer and living in the tiny town of Ozark, was positively identified as the suspect in the 1993 robbery where he drove off with cash in a van that had been parked in front of a Lloyds Bank in Felixstowe, England. Investigators at the time reportedly found two abandoned getaway cars nearby.

The news media in Britain has called "Fast Eddie's" 1993 robbery "the perfect crime."

Maher had reportedly been living under a brother's name, Michael Maher, but also used several other phony names, including Stephen King, while in the U.S.

The man's true identity was discovered after Ozark police were given an anonymous tip that the culprit in the infamous heist was living in the area, according to Nixon. Ozark police's investigation determined that the man might be Maher, but they turned to the FBI for assistance with the investigation.

Police in Suffolk, England, have been able to determine that after the robbery, Maher flew to Boston, where he met up with his girlfriend and young son, the News Leader reported. Nixon told the paper that it's likely Maher and family members moved frequently before arriving in Ozark two years ago.

The Feds found four illegal firearms in the home where he was apprehended. Several other people were inside the home, and were soon identified as family members, Nixon said.

Maher was charged with being an illegal alien in possession of firearms and was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where he is being held without bond.

He appeared before a federal judge Thursday afternoon for his initial appearance in the gun case. His next court appearance is Feb. 22 and he will be held by the U.S. Marshal's Service until then. It's unclear if he has been charged in the U.K. for the nearly 20-year-old robbery. 

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