Everyone loves the story of a good heist. There have been countless movies made about great heists fiction and true-to-life based. Remember the “Ocean 11” movies? In it George Clooney, and Brad Pitt with their team of ne’er-do-wells take on the largest heist of all time trying to steal more than 150 million dollars from the vault of the famous Las Vegas hotel, The Bellagio. A heist itself is defined as the robbery of a bank, museum, or other large institution to gain a massive amount of loot. It has always intrigued the American public to watch these so-called villains get away with their money grabbing crimes. Deep down inside everyone wishes they could get away with the ultimate heist, coming away with millions of dollars and retiring to some Caribbean island to sip drinks out of coconuts and relax on a white sandy beach for the rest of your life. Maybe that’s why we root deep down inside for the bad guys in some of these scenarios to get away with their crimes. So what are some of the most unbelievable heists that have actually happened? Here are the top 9 heists of all time.
Antwerp Diamond Heist (2003)
Heist Amount Worth: $100,000.000.00
This robbery was named by many as the “heist of the century” because the thieves took an estimated 100 million dollars worth of gold, diamonds, and other jewelry from the Antwerp Diamond Center in Belgium. The mastermind behind the heist was Leonardo Notarbartolo who in preparation to rob the center lived nearby it for three years. He later said that it was an elaborate insurance scam, because he was hired by the center to actually commit the robbery. His entire 5 person crew got away with the heist, and the diamonds remain unrecovered to this day.
Thomas Blood and The Crown Jewels Of England (1671)
Heist Amount Worth: £100,000.00 = $154,557.50
Thomas Blood, an Irish assassin, wanted to target the most treasured possession in all of England, the Crown Jewels which are housed in the Tower of London under the watch of many guards. The eventual plan basically became a “smash and grab” job with Blood knocking out the guards, and running off with the loot. They were caught almost immediately, and King Charles II wasn’t even that mad, so he pardoned Thomas Blood for the crime.
D.B. Cooper (1971)
Heist Amount Worth: $200,000.00
This heist involved the hijacking of a 727 Boeing Jet, and netted him a take of $200,000 before he jumped out of the plane somewhere around Seattle. No one ever found his body, or the money and the case is still active on the FBI’s most wanted list. Countless people have speculated on what happened to D.B.Cooper and the money, but no one really knows.
The Great Train Robbery (1855)
Heist Amount Worth: $2,300,000.00
A fifteen member team managed to swipe 2.3 million dollars (roughly 40 million today with inflation) off of an English post office train without using a single gun. They were later caught because the money was found with their fingerprints all over it possibly because they played a rousing game of Monopoly with the money. Can you imagine playing Monopoly with million of dollars of real money? Makes the stakes a little bit higher I guess.
The French Bank Vault Tunnelers (2010)
Heist Amount Worth: £22,000,000.00 = $34,002,650.00
This recent heist was conducted by a team of robbers who tunneled into a Paris bank vault, and snatched loot from over 100 safety deposit boxes. Since most of the boxes were owned by private wealthy citizens it’s hard to tell how much in value they made off with because most of the box owners won’t publicly disclose their contents. The team of heisters on their way out of the vault, lit it on fire.
U.S. Taxes of 6 Billion Dollars From Iraq
Heist Amount Worth: $6,000,000,000.00
It’s estimated that at 6 billion dollars this heist was the largest theft of funds in national history. You would think that they would be able to find out what happened to such a large amount of money, but they haven’t. Congress had ear-marked that money to help post-Saddam Iraq get back on it’s feet…
The Collar Bomb Bank Robbery (2003)
Heist Amount Worth: Demanded $250,000.00, only walked out with $9,000.00
This is the strangest robbery on the list because a pizza delivery guy walks into a bank, handing the telling a note asking for the money, and showing them that he has a bomb strapped around his neck. Fifteen minutes after he left the bank with the money he was apprehended by police. The man then stated that someone had strapped the bomb to him, and was forcing him to rob the bank. The police had just enough time to step away from the man with the collar bomb before he exploded in a million pieces. A comedic movie has been made inspired by it called “30 Minutes or Less” starring Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist (1990)
Heist Amount Worth: $500,000,000.00
While the entire city of Boston celebrated St.Patricks Day, two thieves dressed like police man stole into the museum, and made off with 13 great works of art estimated at 500 million dollars. Some of those pieces include works by Rembrandt, Monet, and Degas. The frames still remain empty in the museum in hopes someone will bring the priceless works of art back someday.
Millennium Dome Raid (2000)
Heist Amount Worth: $250,000,000.00
This newly constructed at the time London-based museum housed one of the world most exquisite diamonds. A diamond that was 203 carats and worth 250 million dollars was named the “Millennium Star.” Sadly though the robbers didn’t get to compete their plan of running in with guns, and basically doing the old “smash and grab.” Police already knew they were coming and arrested them on site.