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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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Michael Wheatley's history of robberies and bank raids

The Skull Cracker has been arrested in East London along with a 53 year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

But Michael Wheatley has a long history of crime, as this timeline reveals:

  • 1980s - Michael Wheatley is jailed for a post office raid, goes on the run to commit nine armed robberies and is jailed in 1989 for 16 years.
  • 1992 - Wheatley is released to visit optician, goes on the run and commits eight raids.
  • 1993 - Jailed for seven years, on top of the 20 he's already serving.
  • 2001 - Wheatley is released on parole from his cumulative 27 year sentence. Within weeks he commits the first of 13 bank raids over 10 months.
  • 2002 - Wheatley handed 13 life sentences of which he must serve at least eight years.
  • May 3, 2014 - Released on temporary licence from Standford Hill open prison in Kent, fails to return and the alarm is raised.
  • May 5 - Sighting in Twickenham, but he is not found.
  • May 7 - A Chelsea Building Society in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey, is robbed. Wheatley is arrested later in East London.

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