A security guard who stole almost £1 million from his own armoured van and kept almost all of it has been jailed for just under five years.
Joel March, 36 dumped his G4S van and gear and made off with the cash, most of which has never been recovered.
At first police thought the van had been hijacked and the driver kidnapped during the crime, in April this year, but they soon realised it was an inside job.
Officers tracked March down the following afternoon to an address nearby in Clapham and found £28,600 – but £860,440 is still outstanding.
Joel March, 36, of Clapham, south west London, pleaded guilty to one count of theft from an employer at Camberwell Magistrates Court today and will remain in custody before sentencing next month
He was jailed for four years and eight months in prison at Inner London Crown Court today.
Prosecutor Alex Agbamu said: ‘He stole the contents of a G4S van. He was an employee at the time and was entrusted with its contents.
‘There were 48 containers each containing large amounts of cash intended for delivery to addresses in Holborn.
‘A member of the public noticed the van had been in the same place for a long time and contacted G4S.
‘G4S had tried to make contact with the defendant and at the time there was concern for his safety.
‘At the time no one knew that the defendant had taken any cash and not such a large amount.
The van was found with the keys still in the ignition in Clapham, southwest London.
March’s body armour and mobile phone was also recovered but the guard had vanished with the money.
‘The search revealed that out of the 48 containers that had been taken from the depot, 43 had been removed, the prosecutor said.
‘Out of a total of £916,190, a total of £889,440 was taken.’
March had already splashed some of the stolen cash on designer clothes and trainers.
‘The day after he committed the theft, with some of the cash he went to JD Sport on Streatham High Street and spent over £1,400 on sportswear and trainers.’
In his police interview, March complained about the working conditions at G4S and explained he had issues with mental health.
‘He said he had recently been under a lot of stress and felt underpaid and overworked contributing to his stress of breaking up with his partner,’ said Mr Agbamu.
‘He had previously suffered from bipolar disorder and depression – since March he felt he was beginning to relapse but he kept it to himself.’
Michael Hillman, defending, said: ‘The defendant pleaded guilty less than three weeks ago. Mr March has been sectioned on three separate occasions.
‘There is, on the face of it, no explanation for why he did what we now know he has done.’
Passing sentence at Inner London crown court Judge Usha Karu said: ‘This was not an impulsive, spur of the moment act, Mr March.
‘It may not have been a particularly sophisticated act but it was planned – this was a high value theft.
‘No one knows whether this was a vengeful act and will never know – only you know that, and only you know the location of the money.
‘You have still not revealed the location of the money.
‘It has been said that you were feeling disillusioned and were tired that morning and took the money.
‘There is no suggestion by the psychiatrist that you had relapsed at the time of the offence.
‘There is no other explanation for this offence other that greed.
Father of three March, of Rectory Grove, Clapham, pleaded guilty and was convicted of one count of theft by employee and a further count of concealing the proceeds of crime.
He was sentenced to four years eight months in jail.