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'Skull Cracker' robber captured in armed raid

The convicted robber known as the Skull Cracker has been arrested after an armed raid in Surrey this morning. Police say Michael Wheatley - who fled Standford Hill open prison on Saturday - has been detained.

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Govt to launch review after 'Skull Cracker' goes missing

A review will take place after a violent armed robber dubbed "the Skull Cracker" went missing while temporarily allowed out of jail, the Prisons Minister said.

Michael Wheatley, 55, a violent armed robber dubbed "the Skull Cracker". Credit: Kent Police/PA

Michael Wheatley, 55, who was given 13 life sentences in 2002 for a string of brutal raids on banks did not return to HMP Standford Hill open prison on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

Wheatley, who earned his nickname after pistol-whipping victims, raided 13 building societies and banks over 10 months in 2001 and 2002 while on parole from a 27-year sentence for other robberies.

Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said there will be a full review of the case, including an assessment of the release on temporary licence (ROTL) process.

He said: "We are not prepared to see public safety compromised, the system has been too lax up to now and we are changing that."

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