Having committed a robbery, you can not only become the target of the police, but also get your portion of fame. It is enough just to steal an impressive amount of money, preferably several million dollars. And then the media will talk about this crime, and thieves will be searched all over the world. Many even dream of committing such a theft, which would provide them with free funds for the rest of their lives.
Fortunately, in most cases, it does not go beyond fantasies. However, criminology knows several cases when people managed to carry out a robbery of their whole life. These high-profile crimes have already become part of history, but it was not always possible to avoid fair justice.
Harry Winston's jewelry house is the most popular in Hollywood. At the Oscar ceremony, many stars flaunt rented jewelry from this manufacturer. One of the most famous robberies in modern history is also associated with the name of Harry Winston.
In 2009, four armed men entered a jewelry boutique on the Champs-Elysees in Paris just before closing. At the same time, three of them were dressed in women's clothing, including wigs.
The criminals cleared the storefronts and even forced the staff to open the vault. The stolen millions were clearly not enough for them. As a result, the thieves took out all the jewelry from the store. The amount stolen was estimated at 80 million euros. After it became known about the theft, the shares of the jewelry house immediately fell by 9%.
Pink Panthers - an organization created by immigrants from Yugoslavia, operates in many European countries. The cartel specializes in stealing luxury goods, but does not disdain to engage in drugs, smuggling and murder. I must say that the injured boutique was robbed a year before this incident. Then the thieves stole 10 million euros worth of jewelry.
Not everyone knows that 80% of all rough diamonds pass through Antwerp. But criminals have such information. As a result, there have been a lot of thefts related to precious stones in the city. However, this crime stands out from the total number both in terms of execution technique and taking into account the amount stolen.
The trophy turned out to be so big that the thieves could hardly take it out. 123 of the 160 vaults of the diamond exchange were emptied. Leonardo Notarbartolo, a thief with 30 years of criminal experience, planned this audacious crime.
On February 15, 2003, during the weekend, the attackers taped the lenses of the video cameras and replaced the cassettes in the cameras, which hid their actions. Although the vault was protected by ten types of security equipment, including infrared and magnetic sensors, a lock with 100 million combinations, the thieves still somehow got into the vault. The police could not figure out exactly how the bandits were able to bypass the protection. The thieves slowly cleaned almost all the safes, they simply could not carry away all their contents — the entire floor was strewn with diamonds. The jewels belonged to 70 individuals and organizations.
The best detectives joined the investigation. A day later Leonardo Notarbartolo was arrested. His accomplices, his wife and a Dutch couple, were also caught. They found evidence in a high-profile case. But the diamonds themselves in the amount of $ 100 million have not been found. Notarbartolo is currently serving a long term in prison. Interestingly, but at the trial he said that they were hired by a Jewish merchant, and they stole only part of the diamonds, worth $ 20 million. By the time the thieves arrived at the vault, some of the safes had already been emptied. Notarbartolo believes that he was framed by making the bandits part of a big insurance fraud. The police did not believe this version and later detained three more accomplices of the thieves.
This story happened in the already distant 1970s. To date, the value of the stolen is estimated at $ 100 million. In those years, it was a record-breaking robbery. There were seven robbers from Ohio, led by Emil Dinsio.
A gang called Laguna Nigel broke into one of the banks of the California United network. The thieves quickly cleared the safe. The exact contents of the vault were unknown, so the amount stolen could only be calculated approximately. As a result, the FBI arrested the criminals, as they could not stop and went back to the case. Later, one of the thieves described this incident in the book "Supervisor".
In the 1970s, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) launched active terrorist activities. The Arabs, led by Yasser Arafat, wanted to reclaim part of the land for themselves to live in Palestine. The PLO was waging a real war, which required a lot of money. In those years, a civil war was raging in Lebanon, so real chaos reigned in the country. Then the PLO militants robbed more than ten banks, the most famous of which was the British Bank of the Middle East.
The terrorists were able to take away $25 million from there in the form of gold, currency, stocks and jewelry. To get to the vault, the thieves even blew up the wall of the bank. Specially invited specialists from Corsica worked on the safe. The stolen shares were eventually sold back to their owners.
This diamond theft is the largest in history. Then the thieves were able to steal about 118 million dollars worth of precious stones. At the same time, it is difficult to estimate the exact cost of diamonds, since many of them were not cut. This implies their relative valuation and additional difficulties in finding.
Although many famous thefts are distinguished by subtle design and elegance of execution, in this case the thieves acted head-on. A month before the crime, a gang of four men stole the uniforms of service personnel and a truck. Thus, until the very last moment, the thieves did not attract attention to themselves in the guarded territory of Amsterdam airport. On February 25, 2005, it was supposed to send a valuable cargo to Antwerp. In front of everyone, the bandits, threatening the truck driver with a gun, forced him to get out. The thieves got into the car with the diamonds and drove away. Given that the truck was not chosen by chance, the police suspected the leak of information from the inside. This was not the first time that a secure airport terminal was unable to resist criminals. So the owners of the stolen diamonds quite logically ask questions about the level of protection. Although several people were arrested during the investigation, it has not yet been possible to find what was stolen.
After Valerio Viccei got tired of hiding from the police for his 54 armed robberies, in 1986 he moved from his native Italy to the UK. The bandit decided to continue his activities in a new country. He came to Knightsbridge Bank with a request to check the rented cell there. On the way to her Viccei neutralized the guard. In this, the thief was helped by the manager, who, due to cocaine addiction, fell into the Italian's network. A sign was hung on the storage that it was temporarily out of operation. The manager changed the guards and disabled the surveillance cameras. The thieves quietly robbed the financial institution, taking with them 60 million pounds. At today's prices, this amount has tripled.
The authorities found out about the robbery only an hour later, this was enough time for the thieves to escape from the crime scene. The authorities had only a fragment of the fingerprint. Interpol found out that it belonged to Viccia. Valerio managed to escape to Latin America, but all his accomplices in England were arrested. Surprisingly, the bandit's instinct changed — he decided to return to England for his beloved Ferrari and monitor its shipment.
The police arrested the daring robber, the court sentenced him to 22 years in prison. Investigators were able to return only 10 million, the rest of the money settled somewhere in South America. After being released, the 45-year-old thief did not break with his criminal past and was killed in a shootout in 2000 when he was on his way to another bank robbery. Money was not so important to him—robberies and fame became a kind of drug for Viccia.
In 2007, the Dar es Salaam private bank was robbed in Baghdad. When the employees went to work in the morning, they found that the doors of the institution were open, the safe was not locked, and all the money had disappeared from it. Along with $282 million, three security guards also disappeared. A huge amount exceeds the budgets of some poor countries. This robbery raises more questions than answers. It is unclear why the bank had such a huge amount in dollars, and not in local currency.
How did the robbers manage to take out so much money without being noticed? Perhaps the thieves were helped by the local police, who led them through security posts. As a result, the robbers could not be caught. I must say that Iraq ranks first in the world in terms of the amount of money disappearing during bank robberies. At least $1 million is stolen here every month.
On March 18, 1990, two men in police uniforms convinced the guards of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston that they had come on a call. Allegedly, the alarm went off, so we need to check the halls. The guards, contrary to official instructions, let the arrivals into the museum. The thieves immediately handcuffed the guards and took them to the basement. At the same time, the bandits did not even have weapons with them. Over the next 81 minutes, the thieves selected 12 particularly liked paintings and took them away along with the CCTV footage.
The amount stolen is estimated at $ 300 million - among the paintings were the creations of Vermeer and Rembrandt. The police could not find any traces of the intruders. However, in 1994, an anonymous person offered to return the stolen goods for the sum of $ 2.6 million in exchange for refusing further prosecution. However, there was no continuation of the story with that note.
The police can only assume that the robbery was carried out by amateurs. The fact is that they handled the paintings rather carelessly, and the most valuable samples remained untouched. Today, a $5 million reward has been set for any information about the stolen paintings. The authorities even promised not to pursue their new owner.
This robbery on a quiet street in London would have looked like an ordinary street, if not for one thing. 58-year-old courier John Goddard was carrying $292 million worth of valuable bonds in his briefcase. These checks belonged to the Bank of the British Treasury and housing construction companies. The essence of bonds is that their owner is the one who holds them in his hands. In fact, this is a kind of cash. They put a knife to Goddard's throat and took away his briefcase.
Eventually, the police arrested Keith Cheeseman, who was jailed for 6.5 years. The perpetrator of the crime is called Patrick Thomas, who was found shot in the head. As a result, the police detained a gang of thieves, only two criminals remained unknown to the authorities. The surprising fact remains that one of the most high-profile robberies of our time was committed on an ordinary dark street with a knife.
This robbery is again connected with Iraq, a country where the disappearance of money from the bank no longer surprises anyone. Usually crimes of this kind require painstaking planning, often you have to use force. But in this case, the robbery was both simple and effective at the same time. The fact is that the ruler of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, eventually began to consider the whole country his patrimony. And he perceived the Central Bank of Iraq as a personal repository of his money.
Early on the morning of March 18, 2003, just a few hours before the start of the military campaign against the country, Saddam Hussein's youngest son appeared at the office of the main financial institution with the dictator's closest aide. They demanded to give them 900 million dollars and 100 million euros. Instead of documents, the couple presented only Saddam Hussein's personal order to issue the required amount. The bankers decided that it was better to fulfill the personal instructions of the head of the country, rather than discuss them. The dictator's envoys refused to say why they needed so much money and where they would be moved. For two hours, the bank loaded cash, they eventually settled on three trucks. Even before the start of the working day, the kidnappers left with a billion dollars. But this amount is equal to a quarter of Iraq's total foreign exchange reserves.
Bankers report that earlier Hussein and members of his family applied to banks for cash, but they did it infrequently, and the amounts did not exceed $ 5 million. Americans believe that such an impressive sum was required by the dictator in order to use them abroad in case of defeat in the war. However, Hussein was caught and executed, and his son was later killed. And then it became unclear who exactly took the money. The new authorities managed to find only 650 million dollars, they were hidden in a cache in the palace of the former leader. The rest of the money was never found. They say they were taken to Syria.
In June of the same year, the French police detained 25 suspects, they found part of the jewelry and the proceeds from the sale. The detainees were men and women aged from 22 to 67 years. They say that they work for a large criminal cartel "Pink Panther".
The robbery was planned for several years, four people directly took part in it. The bandits rented an office in the same building where the exchange itself was three years before the theft. Thanks to a shell company, the attacker gained access to the magnetic keys. Leonardo himself played the role of a diamond dealer, having created a corresponding reputation for himself. The thief met with potential clients, made deals — no one thought that this was a fictitious person.