A security worker who has admitted to stealing almost £1 million from a G4S van.
Joel March, 36, appeared at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court in south London today facing one count of theft from an employer.
A ‘substantial’ amount of the cash has still not yet been recovered.
He admitted in court to stealing £970,000 from a G4S security van in Clapham, south west London on Tuesday and was remanded in custody.
Security firm G4S were only told of a missing van involved in a £1m pounds snatch by a member of the public after it had been sitting outside his house for nine hours.
Arrested driver Joel March, 36, allegedly stole cash destined for ATMs from his van after parking up in a quiet residential street just before 9am on Tuesday.
Neighbours who grew suspicious when they saw it was still there at 6pm called G4S – their staff and police arrived at the scene in Clapham, south west London, an hour later.
A DHL driver who delivered a package in the same spot this morning said, “I don’t know what to think. DHL has everything under complete control. They know where we are automatically through our vans’ electronics.”
A resident called the company after growing suspicious the blue van had been parked on double yellow lines for around nine hours.
The man, who was working from home, said he noticed it at around 9am, again at lunchtime and only called G4S just before 6pm.
He first thought the driver had killed himself by jumping off a railway bridge yards away.
He said: “I first thought it was weird because you never see those vans here.
“I saw it again at lunchtime as I was going out. I thought maybe they’re visiting somebody.
“I looked in the front and I saw a phone, an ID badge and a driver job-sheet on the passenger seat.
“There were handwritten phone-numbers on strips of paper. There were lots of names and one was his dad and that’s why I thought he had jumped.
“I went out just before 6pm and saw it, I thought this is ridiculous, why is it still here?
“I called G4S on a number on the back of the van and said by the way do you know one of your vans has been here all day?
“They said, ‘what? All day?’ and I said, ‘yeah definitely since lunchtime’ but it was here in the morning.
“They went, ‘okay, we’ll go and check with some sort of switchboard an will let the depot know’ – in Nine Elms I think and then that was it.
“Maybe 45 minutes or an hour later these guys from G4S turned up in one white and one blue van. The police weren’t there.
“I thought maybe he had gone killed himself off the bridge and so I said to the guys, ‘do you think he’s jumped over the thing’.
“They went running over to the bridge and were looking over it.
“I said have you called police and they said yes and the police turned up.”
He only learned the driver had been arrested in nearby Brixton from reporters and of the G4S staff he spoke to said: “They definitely didn’t know. They didn’t know it had been all day.”
The man added four or five members of the driver’s family arrived when the police did at 7pm.
He said: “This is the most exciting thing to happen on this street in years.
“In retrospect I should have called the police. You often see the vans stop so it wasn’t weird initially but it was odd that it was there for so long.
“It’s a good story – I think it’s the robbery, the brazenness, and the complete incompetence of G4S.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Joel March, 36 of Rectory Grove, SW4 has been charged with one count of theft (employee) and will appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court today.”
G4S, a major government contractor, said such incidents were “extremely rare”.
PIC STOCK IMAGE – Credit – Vauxford [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]