In the summer of 2017 the police were contacted by Jimmy Doolly, who told them he had been the victim of a robbery while driving a transit van on the dual carriageway.
The 35-year-old was working for a company that transferred cash from businesses to secure facilities. That day, August 28, he was working alone – and was carrying a larger amount of cash than usual, £319,408 in total.
When officers arrived at the scene, Doolly alleged he had been stopped by an Audi car displaying blue lights.
He said two men secured his wrists with cable ties, put him in the back of his van and used a stun gun on his leg before making off with bags of money.
Doolly said he had managed to free himself and flag down a passing lorry. He also gave the police a partial registration number for the Audi.
Soon afterwards, a black Audi with a matching registration number was set on fire near the A25 at Brasted, near Sevenoaks. A lighter was found by a police dog and was taken for analysis.
An investigation was launched by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate. It was established the Audi had followed Doolly’s own car from Surrey to his place of work on the day of the incident, then tailed his security van when it drove from the premises.
Enquiries revealed that an associate of Doolly, William Williams, travelled from Surrey on that day to a place near to the scene of the alleged robbery, then the location where the Audi was set on fire.
A week later, Williams left the country on holiday. Detectives went to the address of one of his relatives and found a holdall he had left there.
It contained more than £70,000 – and the 43-year-old’s fingerprints were found on the bag containing the cash.
A search warrant was issued for Williams’ home in Caterham, where officers recovered a stun gun, a dismantled pistol, two blank cartridges and three cannabis plants.
Williams was arrested at Gatwick Airport on September 12 when he returned from holiday. When Williams’ DNA was taken it was found to match samples that were found on the lighter recovered near the burned-out Audi.
On November 1, detectives also arrested Doolly, and both were charged with conspiracy to steal.
At Maidstone Crown Court they denied the charge, but after a 19-day trial, both were found guilty. Doolly was jailed for four years and six months and Williams was sentenced to six years.
Detective Inspector James Derham said: “This complex conspiracy was planned by associates from the same area of Surrey who had significant personal debts.
“Their planning soon unravelled when investigators, who suspected an inside job, started to identify links between the van driver and Williams, who was in the area at the time of the robbery and assisted with removal of the cash and then set fire to the Audi.”