FELIXSTOWE/MISSOURI: Praise for police officer who found ‘Fast’ Eddie

FELIXSTOWE/MISSOURI: US patrol officer David Overcast was today credited with being the man who brought “Fast” Eddie’s 19 years as a wanted man to an end.

Police in the US have said Eddie Maher’s daughter-in-law Jessica King fell out with the 56-year-old’s son Lee, her husband of two months, and informed them that her father-in-law was being sought in Britain.

However, Ozark Police Chief Lyle Hodges, speaking from Missouri, praised Officer Overcast after a computer search of US national, state, and Interpol records did not turn up any warrants.

Undeterred, the patrol officer decided to carry out a further search on the internet.

According to Chief Hodges Mrs King only knew her father-in-law was wanted under the nickname of “Fast” Eddie, but seemed unsure what for.

Officer Overcast then searched online under the nickname, and discovered the identity of the man he knew as Michael Richard Maher, was really Eddie Maher, a Securicor guard wanted in connection with a �1million theft. The money went missing on January 22, 1993, when Maher, and the van containing the cash, vanished from outside Lloyds Bank in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

Chief Hodges believes Maher would not be in custody today if it was not for Officer Overcast’s dogged determination.

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Chief Hodges said: “I think he did a really good job. He did that extra bit of research and is really responsible for this (Maher’s arrest) taking place.

“Most officers would check for warrants and if they had found there was no warrant on the national computer, or in our state computer system, or with Interpol, they would probably have dropped it.

“Officer Overcast did just a little bit more.

“The lady who came in knew he (Maher) was called “Fast” Eddie. He did a little more research about the armoured car theft.

“Officer Overcast pulled up his (Maher’s) driving licence, and a photo of Mr Maher as he is today and thought he looked like him.”

It is understood Mrs King, 25 – whom Maher subsequently alleged had stolen one of his guns – discovered her father-in-law was a wanted man in December through her estranged husband Lee.

Officer Overcast said: “She believed it with the information she received. She really wanted me to believe her story.”

However, Lee King has denied he knew of his father’s past until Maher was arrested last week.

Reports in America claim Mrs King has alleged Maher threatened her after she discovered his secret past.

Maher is currently being held in the Greene County jail on an illegal possession of firearms charge. He is due back in court next Wednesday.