10 Greatest Robberies in History
10 Greatest Robberies in History
Many men probably dreamt at least once that they will be involved in a spectacular robbery, have a lot of money and enjoy the rest of their lives. Fortunately, most of us smart enough not to get involved in something like that. However, there are those who are not. The only criterion to enter this list is that the robbers fled with the money and enjoyed in it at least for a while. All those who were caught in the act of robbery, will not be included here. As long as there is money, priceless works of art, and jewelry you can be sure that someone will try to get it illegally. The value of stolen things is expressed in dollars, and for an older robbery we tried to roughly calculate today's value of the booty. It may sound unbelievable, but during these 10 robberies, not one person was killed! That can be interpreted as a sign of true professionalism.
10. Harry Winston (5th December 2008 - Paris, France: 108 million dollars)
Four masked robbers entered the jewelry "Jeweler to the stars" just before closing. Three of them were wearing wigs and wore women's clothes. After "cleaning out" the showcases, the robbers forced the staff to open the warehouse because they wanted more than they had until then. They emptied the store without a single shot being fired. The next day, after the robbery, Harry Wilson shares fell by 9%. The same store was robbed a year earlier, when the goods with a value of around 10 million Euros were taken. One must think that it might be profitable to hire a professional security guard with a gun than to be robbed on a yearly basis. 25 people were arrested and detained because of the robbery, aged 22 to 67 years. It is nice that there is no age discrimination among thieves.
9. Antwerp Diamond Centre (16 February 2003 - Belgium: $ 100 million)
80% of all diamonds in the world pass through Antwerp, and the thieves know it! The city has seen many robberies, but this one is special because of thethe value of the stolen diamonds and the manner in which the robbery was performed. Booty was so great that the thieves could not take all the diamonds with them, but they still managed to empty 123 of 189 boxes of precious stones. Leonardo Notarbartolo, robber with a 30-year-old experience, was the leader of this gang. The mere robbery was planned for years, and at least four people were involved in it. They rented an office in the building three years before the robbery. Leonardo represented himself as a diamond merchant just to gain credibility and trust. He held meetings and carried out small business transactions, so no one doubted him. When the time for the robbery finally came, he put the false tapes security camera system in order to hide their movement through the building. The vault was protected with 10 security levels, including the infrared heat sensors, Doppler radar, magnetic fields, seismic sensors and locks with over 100 million combinations. This robbery is known as the robbery of the century even today mostly because the police cannot say who did it with certainty. Notarbartolo was caught after one of his accomplices forgot to burn the bag containing the evidence. Gems in the value of $ 100 million were never found, and Notarbartolo is currently serving a prison sentence of 10 years. Interestingly, Notarbartolo claims that a Jewish diamond dealer hired him for the robbery and that he and his group stole gems that are worth "only" 20 million, and that many of the boxes were empty when they entered the vault. He believes that they were only a small part in the great deception of the insurance companies. However, the police deny this possibility.
8. California Bank Robbery (March 24, 1972 - U.S.: $ 30 million)
Although $ 30 million seems small compared to other robberies in this list, it should be noted that this robbery occurred in 1972. If we were to transfer the amount into today's currency, it would be over $ 100 million. At that time, it was a record amount. A group of seven people from Ohio, led by Amilo Dinsiom, broke into the Bank of California in Laguna Nigel and looted the main vault. Back then, there was a vault security program and the amounts of money in the vaults were not reported. The robbers could only approximately know the sum of the money in the vault. The group was later arrested by the FBI. Other information about this robbery wasnít put on the official website of the FBI, so if anyone knows a source with more details, we would be grateful if you could leave it in the comments.
7. Robbery of the Shipol Airport (25 February 2005 - Amsterdam: approximately $ 118 million)
This is the biggest diamond robbery in history. Estimated value is $ 118 million. Many of the diamonds were uncut so it is difficult to estimate their value, as well as to trace them. While the majority of robberies in this list were planned and skillfully done, this one is a classic: get in, grab and escape. 2 weeks before the robbery, four men stole the KLM truck and KLM uniforms to draw the attention away from them. They were able to freely enter the forbidden zone of the airport. KLM is the main Dutch airline company. On 25th February, thieves entered the airport in their truck. They pulled up next to the second truck which was loaded and ready to transport diamonds to Antwerp. In front of many witnesses, the thieves just pointed a pistol at the driver and hijacked the truck. Due to the fact that the thieves knew exactly which truck to aim for, the police suspected that someone from the airport administration was involved in the robbery. Several people were arrested.
6. The British Bank of the Middle East (20 January 1976 - Beirut, Lebanon: 25 million pounds)
In 1970, a terrorist group called the PLO was starting to develop. It was led by Yasser Arafat. Their purpose was to provide a homeland for the Palestinian people. They were at war, and wars cost a lot. Lebanon was in the midst of civil war, in the midst of chaos. A group of robbers linked to the PLO broke into a dozen banks, and the largest was the British Bank of the Middle East. The group emerged from the bank with a fantastic £ 25 million in gold, jewelry and stocks. That is about $ 100 million when we count it in todayís currency rates. The group demolished a wall that the bank shared with the Catholic Church. With the help of Corsican locksmiths, thieves opened the vault and "emptied" it for two whole days! Some of the shares were later sold to their legal owners.
5. Knightsbridge security deposit (12 July 1987 - UK: 60 million pounds)
Valerio Vicei emigrated from Italy to Britain in 1986, where he was wanted for more than 50 armed robberies. When he arrived on the island, he decided to continue the "business" which he began in Italy. He and his group entered the Knightsbridge security deposit and asked to rent a safe deposit box. They entered the safe and caught the manager and the guards. Valerio hung a sign on the door which said that the place is closed temporarily so that no one could enter and raise suspicion. The gang then looted the safe deposit boxes and took more than 60 million pounds, which at today's exchange rate, is a whopping 174 million dollars! Guards notified the police after one hour so the group had enough time to escape from the scene. Valerio fled to Latin America, while his accomplices were arrested. However, he returned to England to take his Ferrari, where he was caught. It was a stupid thing to do, youíll agree. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. If you have a bigger part of 174 million, it is better to buy a new Ferrari and not end up in jail? He was killed in 2000, on the day he was released from prison, during the shootout with the police.
4. Baghdad Bank Robbery (12 July 2007 - Baghdad, Iraq: 282 million dollars)
Employees of the Bank of Dar er Salaam were in shock one morning when they came to work and noticed the door unlocked, the safe opened and no sign of money. It is believed that three guards took a whopping 282 million dollars in this huge robbery. This is more than a quarter billion dollars! That's more money than the entire budget of a smaller state. It remains unclear why the bank had so much money and all of it in the American currency. It is suspected that the guards had the help of the police in order to avoid the checkpoints around Baghdad. It would look suspicious if you are driving around with 280 million dollars in the trunk, right? None of the thieves has been arrested and the money was never recovered. Robbery has received surprisingly little media attention.
3. Boston Museum (March 18, 1990 - Boston, USA: 300 million dollars)
Number three on our list is considered to be the biggest heist in the history of art objects. Two guys dressed as police officers, convinced the two inexperienced guards that someone from the building called them. Contrary to the policy of the museum, the guards let the "police" in the museum, and they soon realized their mistake. The robbers overcame them and handcuffed them in the basement. Amazingly, the two men committed the robbery without any evidence that they carried weapons. For the next 81 minutes, the two carefully selected 12 works of art which were worth more than $ 300 million 20 years ago ... Among the stolen works were the three Rembrandts. The two men then pulled out the tapes from the surveillance cameras and disappeared without a trace. In 1994, the police got a paper in which someone offered to give the paintings in exchange for 2.6 million dollars and the immunity from prosecution. However, the person who wrote that never called back. The case itself dictates that this was done by amateurs because they didnít care if the pictures got damaged, and they left many expensive ones behind them. The case was never solved and the police are offering $ 5 million as a reward for any information on stolen works. Also, authorities have said they wonít prosecute anyone who just returns the paintings.
2. Robbery of City bonds (Accessed 2 May 1990 - London: 292 million pounds)
John Goddard was a 58-year-old spokesman for the brokerage house Shepards. He was attacked in the streets of London and the assailants took his briefcase. However, the briefcase contained bonds to the total value of 292 million pounds! Godard was taking them to the National Bank of England. The policy was that whoever has the bonds in his or her possession makes him or her rightful owner. Basically, it was like carrying money. There were 301of them in the briefcase, and their worth was approximately one million pounds each. Keith Cheeseman was arrested in connection to the crime and received a 6 and a half year sentence. Police believe that the mugging was carried out by Patrick Thomas, but he was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head before he could be charged. All but 2 of the bonds were recovered after police and the FBI infiltrated the gang responsible. Itís amazing that the second largest robbery in history was carried out by a low level thief brandishing only a knife on an insignificant back street.
1. Central Bank of Iraq (March 18, 2003 - Baghdad, Iraq 1 billion dollars !)
Some robberies require careful planning. Others use brute force. But the largest in history was as simple as it was effective. Saddam Hussein treated Iraq as his own personal kingdom, so itís no surprise that he would feel that the Central Bank of Iraq was his personal bank account. The day before Coalition forces began bombing Iraq, he sent his son Qusay to make a withdrawal on his behalf with a handwritten note. Qusay oversaw the withdrawal of boxes stuffed with $100 bills in a five-hour operation which netted the dictator about $1 billion in US dollars. It didnít get him very far, as he was caught sometime later hiding in a hole in the ground whilst his son was killed by US forces. Approximately $650 million was later found by US troops hidden in the walls of one of his palaceís, though the remaining $350 million has never been recovered and is considered lost.