10 Of The Greatest Thefts Of All Time
This week saw the kind of heist youd see in movies. Heavy cutting equipment, rappelling gear and a sheer amount of guts were involved in robbing over 70 deposit boxes from a 60-year-old safe deposit company in London. The thieves made off with precious stones and money, now estimated at $300 million. The jewels are already on their way out of England.
But this is not the first time the world has seen a heist of this scale. Herere the classics, the kind that the crew of Oceans 11 would have in their history books.
1. Hatten, London
Millions in valuables were stolen over the 2015 Easter weekend, from a safety deposit company in Hatten, a jewellery district. The total haul is estimated to be worth almost $300 million (£200m).
2. Carlton Intercontinental Hotel, France
One armed man was able to steal gemstones and watches valued at $136 million (103 million) from the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes, during a jewellery exhibition. This is said to be the biggest heist ever in France, and among the biggest heists of all time.
3. Gohana, Haryana
It was a robbery straight out of a movie. Robbers dug a spacious 2.5 feet wide tunnel through 125 feet of earth and concrete, and when they hit the surface, it was in the Punjab National Bank’s vault in Haryana! The tunnel began in a nearby empty house, and the men looted cash and valuables worth crores of rupees in the daring heist. According to investigating police officials, 24 kgs of gold and silver jewellery, and 60,000 rupees ($976; £610) had been recovered, and arrests had been made.
4. John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
It is now known as the Lufthansa Heist, and might have been the highlight of American gangster Jimmy Burkes career. It was, at its time, also the most lucrative cash theft in American history – $8 million in cash and jewels. It is interesting to note that since the Airport was controlled by two crime families, Jimmy had to take permissions from both of them for it!
5. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Massachusetts
Posing as Boston cops, robbers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, handcuffed the guards in the basement, and made off with 13 pieces of stolen artwork. With names like Rembrandt and Vermeer, the estimated loss was $500 million. This is said to be the biggest art heist in history.
6. Banco Central in Fortaleza, Brazil
Concrete and steel were no match for these robbers, who posed as a landscape company, and drilled a tunnel under the Banco Central in Fortaleza, Brazil. They made their way into (and out of) a vault, stealing $69.8 million. In Brazilian currency, this was 3 tons of money.
7. Graff Jewelry Store, London
Disguised in makeup and suits, two men stole $65 million (40m) worth of objects in broad daylight from Londons Graff Jewelry Store in 2009. Wielding handguns, they drove off in a BMW.
8. Central Bank of Iraq
Hours before Americas bombing of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Husseins family stole a billion dollars from the countrys Central Bank. Witnesses told CNN of people loading money into 3-4 trucks near the bank.
9. Heathrow Airport, London
6 thieves attempted to steal £3 million ($4.6 million) in cash from the Heathrow Airports Brink MAT warehouse. They were luckier, and made off with $43 million (£28m) in gold ingots, diamonds and cash.
10. Malappuram district, Kerala
Kerala’s Chelambra bank robbery is among the state’s biggest and most sensational bank robberies. The robbers managed to a carve a hole in the Bank of Kerala floor, and stole 80 kilograms of gold and money – their heist earning them a total of 80 million Indian Rupees. The leader of the heist team confessed that the crime took cue from Bollywood movie ‘Dhoom’, which had a similar plot. To mislead the investigation, they shouted Naxalite slogans at the crime scene, left a kg of gold in a Hyderabad hotel room, and made calls to those involved in the investigation from across India.