The United Kingdom witnessed one of its worst robberies on February 21, 2006, when several armed men broke into the Securitas money depot in Tonbridge, Kent, before escaping with 53 million pounds in cash. While CCTV footage showed the robbers wearing several kinds of disguises, law enforcement officials soon noticed that they even used prosthetics and makeup to change their appearance. Showtime’s ‘Catching Lightning’ takes the viewer through the shocking heist and portrays how the police investigation showed that Michelle Hogg, a professional makeup artist, was the one who helped disguise the robbers. Well, let’s delve into the details surrounding the crime and find out where she is now, shall we?
Who is Michelle Hogg?
A native of Kent, Michelle grew up surrounded by law enforcement officers as her father and godfather worked in the police force. Reports mention that her father, former Metropolitan Police officer Jeffrey Hogg, and her godfather were the ones who convinced her to become a witness for the prosecution. Nevertheless, Michelle was never interested in being in the police, as she was passionate about fashion and cosmetics. She obtained a degree from the London School of Fashion before starting work as a Professional Makeup Artist. Yet, she had no idea that accepting a job from famous MMA fighter Lee Murray would change her life forever.
According to the show, Lee met and got acquainted with Michelle through his hairdresser, Michael Demetris. Thus, when the robbers needed an experienced makeup artist to disguise them before the Securitas heist, he convinced her to become a co-conspirator. Reports mention that the members involved in the Securitas heist traveled to Michelle’s house, where she used different prosthetics and makeup techniques to change their appearance. On top of it, she even purchased around 400 pounds worth of makeup and prosthetic supplies from Charles Fox theatrical suppliers before making each robber a mask from false hair and latex.
When the police began investigating the robbery, it did not take them long to discover the 400-pound worth of supplies and trace it back to Michelle. Initially, she denied all involvement in the crime, but investigators sifted through her garbage to find unused products at the very bottom. On top of it, DNA samples belonging to Lea Rusha, Lee Murray, and Paul Allen were also found in her trash. Hence, law enforcement officers wasted no time in arresting Michelle for her role in the crime.
Where is Michelle Hogg Today?
Initially, Michelle was supposed to go on trial with the rest of the perpetrators, and the police charged her accordingly. However, while awaiting her trial, she faced a nervous breakdown and appeared pretty remorseful of her actions. That was when her father and godfather convinced her to become a witness, and Michelle agreed to testify in court if the prosecution dropped all charges against her. Naturally, she proved to be the prosecution’s most crucial witness as she identified each perpetrator for the police and even described how she had altered some of their appearances.
This helped authorities identify the people on the CCTV footage, leading to numerous convictions. Since Michelle chose to become a witness for the prosecution, she, unfortunately, incurred the gang’s wrath on her. On top of it, the Makeup Artist began fearing for her safety as the robbers who remained at large had the motive and money to end her life. In fact, reports in 2012 claimed that Michelle Hogg’s life was in danger as she had a 7-million-pound contract on her head.
Consequently, without taking any chances, Michelle immediately approached the police and asked them to protect her. At present, she has reportedly changed her name and her appearance and remains under the protection of the British police. Furthermore, sources insisted that Michelle has been given a new identity and moved to a different part of the country, which makes her current whereabouts unclear.
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