The 1956 Waterfront Payroll Robbery ought to be one of the most famous episodes in New Zealand's criminal history.
Seven years later, when Buster Edwards, Bruce Reynolds and Ronnie Biggs committed Great Britain's Great Train Robbery, they became instant cult heroes of the Robin Hood variety, household names that were immortalised in film and literature.
The waterfront heist was our very own crime of the century, far and away the biggest single theft in New Zealand at the time, and one not to be surpassed for 50 years.
But it has largely been forgotten.
When Trevor Nash was arrested, tried and jailed for the offence, it hardly rated a mention in the press and, although there was a flurry of public interest - even admiration - around his dramatic escape, the subsequent manhunt and his eventual re-arrest, few people would be able to name him today.
This was a robbery with no aggravated violence, it was executed in the dead of night and the robbers escaped as quickly and as quietly as they came.
The haul was huge, but the headlines few, largely due to the tight control of information by authorities embarrassed by the heist and the shortcomings in security it exposed.
Even at the time, it was regarded as virtually certain that more than one person committed the robbery, but official curiosity all but ended with the arrest.
In his new book The Great New Zealand Robbery, author Scott Bainbridge claims to have uncovered the identities of the others involved.
In these edited extracts, Bainbridge reveals the remarkable stroke of luck that led to Nash's capture in Australia after almost six months on the run.
New Zealanders love an underdog, even a criminal one.
There is a broad anti-authoritarian streak in the Kiwi psyche, and the longer Trevor Nash remained on the run, the more his popularity grew.
The story of how he had escaped and his resourcefulness in continuing to evade capture was a Boy's Own-type adventure.
He was in danger of becoming a folk hero.
The police explicitly worried that sympathetic supporters might even assist in his evasion, if they weren't already doing so.
Senior Detective Reginald Henderson was a quiet but colourful figure in Victoria Police.
Affable and unassuming, he was noted for his photographic memory and his freakish ability to recognise faces, all of which he modestly downplayed.
The records spoke for themselves: over the years, he had accumulated a number of arrests where he had clocked someone from a wanted poster he had previously seen. Whenever he was congratulated on solving a cold case in this manner, he tended to shrug it off, preferring to push younger colleagues into the limelight.
In his 29 years' service in Victoria Police, he had notched over 300 arrests.
Most recently, he had been assigned to personally protect the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh during their royal visit to Australia.
On the night of Sunday February 5, 1961, Henderson was late finishing up duty at Victoria Police headquarters in Melbourne and on his way out the door when the teleprinter began to clatter and spool out paper.
Out of curiosity, he tore off the wanted poster of an escaped Kiwi criminal by the name of Trevor Edward Nash who was on the lam and possibly heading for Australia.
Henderson gazed at the picture for a few minutes. He should have placed it in the inwards tray for distribution to any of the relevant divisions within CIB.
Henderson worked the Dealers Squad, investigating stolen articles peddled through antique second-hand dealerships. This was none of his business.
But no one was in the office at CIB, so Henderson folded the printout and stuck it in his coat pocket, resolving to pass it on the next day.
The next day, he forgot. The day after that, he forgot too, although he had fished the poster out every time he stuck his hand in his pocket and renewed his vow to pass it on.
And even when he had handed the poster over, he kept a bit of an eye on the matter, asking the desk girl to check Nash's status as he went by.
Each time he asked, the news was the same. Nash remained at large.
Eventually, Henderson put it to the back of his mind.
Henderson typically began his working day by clocking in at Russell Street police HQ in central Melbourne and waiting for the others in his team to arrive.
He found it frustrating that, by the time they hit the streets and started visiting suspect businesses, trading had been underway for half an hour and there was a good chance they'd missed prime time for peddling stolen goods.
What's more, by mid-morning many of the dealers were tied up with paperwork and legitimate customers and had no time to assist with police enquiries.
So Henderson had suggested to his then partner, Detective John Davy, that every so often they forgo clocking in and instead meet at a central location in town at 8.30am, in order to get the jump on dealers when they opened for business.
That's what they were doing at around 8.30am on Wednesday July, 12. Henderson and Davy had met at a pre-arranged spot and were heading in the direction of the antique stores. About 9.10am, they walked along Bourke St, where the many department stores with which the road is flanked were just beginning to buzz.
Henderson idly gazed around at the people sitting at café tables on the pavement when he noticed a fellow calmly sipping an espresso and reading a newspaper. The patron looked odd: he had long, unusually coloured orange hair, undoubtedly cheaply dyed.
And, now that Henderson looked at him, he seemed vaguely familiar.
After they walked past, Henderson glanced back. It was bothering him. He knew the face, but just couldn't place it.
It wasn't until they turned the corner with Russell Street that Henderson stopped dead.
"What's up, Hendo?" Davy asked.
"I think a man back there is wanted," Henderson replied.
He spun on his heel and began stalking back to the café.
They turned the corner. Henderson instantly spotted his quarry, barely eight yards (seven metres) away and walking towards him.
Henderson moved deliberately into his path. The man stopped and frowned. Davy moved instinctively to his left, boxing him in lest he cut and run.
Henderson had remembered the name by now.
"Is your name Nash?" he asked.
The man was startled. "Of course not," he spluttered.
"No. My name is West."
He attempted to push past them, but Henderson placed his hand on the man's chest to stop him.
"What is your full name?"
"John Martin West."
Henderson and Davy hustled their man into the doorway of Albert Cohen's Music Store and handcuffed him. He offered only limp resistance.
The accounts of this moment in newspaper, magazine and various books over the years have consistently reported Nash muttering, "You wouldn't bloody read about it", but police records state that his actual words were, "You bloody bastards."
When he was booked at Russell Street CIB, the man persisted in claiming his name was John West. He was found to have a black leather folding wallet containing £100 in New Zealand £10 notes and £100 in £5 notes, and £93 in Australian notes.
In his pocket was a Yale door key and a small key for the lock on an overnight bag.
He was wearing three wristwatches - two Rolexes and an Omega - on his left wrist. In the pocket of his coat was a small transistor radio.
Henderson read the arrest warrant on the charge of escaping and said, "Are you the person mentioned in this warrant?"
"Oh, I have nothing to say about the matter," the man claiming to be West replied.
A number of other questions were put to him, but he refused to give anything other than yes or no answers. Henderson sent a teletype to Auckland CIB informing them he had apprehended a fellow he was certain was the fugitive Trevor Nash.
While he was out of the room, "West" asked Detective Davy if he could talk privately with Henderson, and asked Davy to retrieve his gear, which was stored at a boarding house in Brunswick Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.
Henderson and Davy left Nash in the cells and drove to 33 Brunswick Street. The landlady was shocked and stated that the polite Mr West had taken a single room the previous Friday 7 July, saying he was a travelling salesman looking for a full-time gig as a barman. The bedsit was barely larger than a jail cell.
Personal effects were stored in neat and tidy order. On the dressing table was shaving gear. On a small stand near the bed was an array of clothing. The wardrobe contained more clothing, shoes, an overnight bag and an old fibre suitcase.
On the bed were two pieces of newspaper, a page torn from the telephone book and a piece of writing paper. The detectives stashed everything in the bags and hightailed it back to the station. Mr "West" changed his shirt and shoes, while Henderson unlocked the overnight bag and tipped out the contents. There was a polaroid camera and two transistor radios, and under the neatly folded clothing was a handkerchief, knotted at the ends, containing a bundle of New Zealand £10 and £5 notes totalling £2400.
"Where did you come by all this cash, Trevor?" Henderson asked.
Mr "West" simply stared at him.
"I'm going to arrest you and charge you with unlawful possession, Nash," Henderson said.
Again, Mr "West" did not dispute his identity.
"I'm not guilty of that. I've not stolen anything in Victoria," he said firmly.
But his demeanour changed as he began to be subjected to the processes of arrest. He had to be forcibly fingerprinted, he refused to sign the property sheet giving police custody of his personal effects, and when he was pushed into his remand cell he violently threw the contents around the floor and smashed the table across the cell bars.
The next day, Thursday July 13, Nash appeared in Melbourne City Court to face the charges. During the brief hearing, the fact that he was allegedly an escaped convict from New Zealand was barely touched upon, although when reading the summary of facts, Detective Henderson indicated preliminary steps had been set in motion to extradite Nash back to New Zealand.
"How do you plead?" the magistrate, Mr Addison, asked.
"I don't understand any of this. I need to speak to a lawyer," Nash replied.
"If your case proceeds in this court, police will appoint you a lawyer," Addison said. "In the meantime, will you be seeking bail?"
Nash grinned. "Well, yes, I will," he said. "But I don't think I'll get it."
Everyone but the magistrate roared with laughter.
"No, I don't think you will, either," Mr Addison said sternly.
"Bail is declined. I remand you in custody until twentieth July. Stand down."
Nash had been hiding out in New Zealand for almost six months before leaving on a ship out of Tauranga.
He had only been in Australia for five days when his luck finally ran out with the chance encounter which led to his incredible arrest. You wouldn't bloody read about it.
• The Great New Zealand Robbery, Allen and Unwin, is available from Monday , RRP $32.99.