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'That's my car' - shock of Preston grandad who discovered his stolen car was used in kidnapping and robbery 30 years ago

Dennis Higgins and his son in his prized car in 1988
Dennis Higgins and his son in his prized car in 1988

A former BT worker has spoken of his shock after realising his prized Ford Orion Ghia had been used in the kidnapping of a bank manager during the Preston Natwest bank heist of 1988.

Dennis Higgins spoke after a special report on the 30th anniversary of the infamous robbery, which saw Roger Ball, his wife and daughter held captive and £500,000 stolen.

The Ford Orion was used to transport the bank manager back to the bank - in the boot

The Ford Orion was used to transport the bank manager back to the bank - in the boot


Dennis, who worked as a marketing manager for BT in the Guild Centre, was horrified when wife Pay contacted him to tell him police had visited her enquiring about his whereabouts.


He explains: “I had a silver Ford Orion Ghia which was my pride and joy.


“ I used to park it in the Bus Station Car Park daily. On returning to go home one day, my car had gone - stolen.


“Whoever stole my Orion had sold it to the bank manager, who’d bought it for his wife. He’d no idea it was a stolen vehicle.”

The Ford Orion was Dennis's 'pride and joy'

The Ford Orion was Dennis's 'pride and joy'


“I suppose the worst thing was the thought that I was a possible “suspect” until the police were able to confirm that the car used was stolen from me.”


Dennis and Pat are now retired and have two children and three grandchildren.


He adds: “It was strange to see a Crimewatch programme re-enacting the robbery and seeing my car’s “involvement”.


“Of course, my grandchildren love to hear the story of Grandad’s stolen car and how it was used in the bank robbery.”

Fleet of ambulances for staff held hostage at Natwest, taken in 1988

Fleet of ambulances for staff held hostage at Natwest, taken in 1988