After two decades on the run, Edward John Maher, the Ozark, Mo. cable installer suspected in a decades-old British armored van theft, has appeared in a U.K. court to face trial.
Dubbed “Fast Eddie” by British media, Maher was working as a guard for a security company in 1993 when authorities say he conducted a heist in Suffolk that netted him a haul of British currency worth about $1.5 million at the time.
British police said Maher — who was arrested in rural Missouri in February on immigration charges — has been deported from the U.S. and appeared in court Tuesday. Police said 57-year-old Maher did not enter a plea to the charge of theft and will be kept in custody until a July 17 hearing.
Before his arrest in February, Maher was last seen sitting in an armored truck in Britain, waiting for a fellow security guard to return from a bank with a load of cash. Maher, who was then in his mid-30s, vanished, along with the armored truck.
The abandoned van was later discovered, although its booty of 50 bags containing coins and notes was gone.
Authorities offered a reward. Sightings were reported across Europe but Maher’s trail quickly went cold.
At some point, he and his family fled to the U.S., where Maher often used a brother’s name or the alias Stephen King. They made frequent — sometimes cross-country — moves, and Maher spent several years working for Nielsen Media Research, first in Philadelphia, then in Milwaukee and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Sometime in 2008, Maher and his family moved to the small town of Ozark, Mo. He was arrested in February in Ozark, where authorities said he was living under his brother’s name and working as a cable technician.
While in custody on federal charges of aggravated identity theft, document fraud and firearms violations, Maher agreed to be sent back to Britain to face charges in relation to the robbery.