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Home Sheerness News Article
This is the dramatic moment an armed robber known as the Skull Cracker was arrested after going on the run from a Kent prison.
Fugitive Michael Wheatley was held by officers in Mile End, east London, yesterday - four days after fleeing HMP Standford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey.
He is still being questioned today about an armed raid on a building society in Surrey yesterday.
Wheatley, 55, was arrested along with another man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit armed robbery at the Chelsea Building Society in Sunbury-on-Thames.
A cordon was thrown around the building society after the raid at 10.20am yesterday as police investigated links to Wheatley.
The armed raider is said to have threatened a member of staff with a handgun before demanding money from a safe and escaping with cash.
The worker was left shaken but unhurt, but it is not yet known if the gun was real.
Kent Police said yesterday afternoon: "At 2pm two men, aged 55 and 53, were arrested in the Tower Hamlets area and are now in police custody.
"The 55 year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of being unlawfully at large."
DCI Ann Lisseman said: ‘We are no longer looking for Michael Wheatley.
"We would like to thank our colleagues at Metropolitan Police Service, Surrey Police, and the public for their assistance with our enquiries."
A huge manhunt was launched when Wheatley failed to return to HMP Standford Hill after being let out on day release on Saturday.
It is believed a train timetable was found in Wheatley's cell after he fled, with the Sittingbourne to London route highlighted.
Wheatley is serving 13 life sentences following a string of brutal raids on banks and building societies.
He carried out 13 raids over 10 months in 2001 and 2002 while on parole from a 27-year sentence for other robberies.
He earned his nickname after pistol-whipping victims during the raids. He usually targeted lone, elderly women.
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