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Having committed a robbery, you can not only become pursued by the police, but also get your portion of fame. Many even dream of committing a theft that would provide them with free funds for the rest of their lives.
Fortunately, in most cases, things do not go beyond fantasies. These high-profile crimes have already become part of history, but it was not always possible to avoid fair justice.
Harry Winston. Harry Winston's jewelry house is the most popular in Hollywood. At the Oscars, many stars show off in 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, 4 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, even wearing wigs. The criminals cleared the windows and forced the staff to open the store as well. They obviously lacked the stolen millions. As a result, the thieves took all the jewelry out of the store. The amount stolen was estimated at 80 million euros. After it became known about the theft, the jewelry house's shares immediately fell by 9%. In June of the same year, the French police arrested as many as 25 suspects, they found some of the jewelry and proceeds from the sale. The detainees were men and women aged 22 to 67 years. They are said to work for the big Pink Panther crime cartel. This organization works in many European countries, it was created by immigrants from Yugoslavia. The cartel specializes in theft of luxury goods, but does not hesitate to engage in drugs, smuggling, murder. I must say that the robbed boutique was robbed a year before this incident. Then the thieves took away jewelry worth 10 million euros.
Stealing diamonds in Antwerp. Not everyone knows that 80% of all rough diamonds pass through Antwerp. But the criminals possess such information. As a result, a lot of thefts related to precious stones have occurred in the city. However, this crime stands out from the total, both in terms of the technique of execution and taking into account the amount of stolen goods. The trophy was so big that the thieves could hardly take it out. Of the 160 safes of the diamond exchange, 123 were emptied. Invented a daring crime by Leonardi Notarbartolo, a thief with 30 years of criminal experience. The robbery was planned for several years, 4 people directly took part in it. The bandits had rented an office in the same building as the exchange itself 3 years before the theft. Thanks to a shell company, the attacker gained access to the magnetic keys.
Leonardo himself performed the role of a diamond dealer, creating a reputation for himself. The thief met with potential clients, made deals - no one thought he was a fictitious person. On February 15, 2003, over the weekend, the attackers sealed the lenses of the cameras and changed the cassettes in the cameras, which hid their actions. Although the vault was protected by ten types of security technical means, including infrared and magnetic sensors, a lock with 100 million combinations, the thieves still somehow got into the vault. The police were never able to figure out how exactly the bandits were able to bypass the protection. The thieves unhurriedly cleared almost all the safes, they simply could not take them away - the entire floor is covered with diamonds. The jewelry belonged to 70 individuals and organizations.
The best detectives joined the investigation. A day later, Leonardo Notarbartolo was arrested. His accomplices were also caught - his wife and a Dutch married couple. They found evidence in a high-profile case. But the diamonds themselves, worth $ 100 million, were never found. Notarbartolo is currently serving a long sentence in prison. Interestingly, on his fate, he said that they were hired by a certain Jewish merchant, and they stole only part of the diamonds, worth 20 million dollars. By the time the thieves arrived in the vault, some of the safes had already been emptied. Notarbartolo believes he was framed, making the bandits part of a larger insurance scheme. The police do not believe in this version, later detaining three more accomplices of the thieves.
United California bank robbery. This story happened in the distant 1970s. To date, the value of the stolen goods is estimated at $ 100 million. In those years, this was a record robbery. There were 7 robbers from Ohio, led by Emil Dincio. A gang called Laguna Nigel broke into one of the banks in the California United network. The thieves quickly cleared the safe. The exact contents of the vault were unknown, so the amount stolen was only roughly calculated. As a result, the FBI was able to capture the robbers. They could not stop and went back to work. Later, one of the thieves described the incident in the book "Supervor".
British Bank for the Middle East. In the 1970s, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) launched active terrorist activities. The Arabs, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, wanted to reclaim part of the land for themselves to live in Palestine. The PLO waged a real war that required a lot of money. In those years, a real civil war was raging in Lebanon, so real chaos reigned in the country. At that time, PLO militants robbed more than ten banks, the most famous of which was the British Bank of the Middle East. Terrorists were able to take away from there in the form of gold, currency, stocks and valuables 25 million dollars. To get to the vault, the thieves even blew up the bank wall. Specialists specially invited from Corsica worked on the safe. The stolen shares were eventually sold back to their owners.
Theft at Schiphol Airport. This theft of diamonds is the largest in history. Then the thieves were able to steal gems worth about $ 118 million. At the same time, the exact cost of diamonds is difficult to say, since many of them were not cut. This implies their relative assessment and additional difficulties in finding. Although many famous thefts are distinguished by subtle design and grace of execution, in this case the thieves acted head-on. A month before the crime, a gang of 4 men stole a service uniform and a truck. Thus, until the very last moment, thieves did not attract attention in the protected area 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 pistol, forced him to leave. The thieves got into a car with diamonds and drove away. Given that the truck was not chosen by chance, the police suspected that the information was “leaked” from the inside. This was not the first time that a secure airport terminal failed to withstand 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 the stolen goods.
Knightsbridge Bank. After getting tired of hiding from the police for his 54 armed robberies, Valerio Viccei moved from his native Italy to the UK in 1986. The bandit decided to continue his activities in a new country. He came to Knightsbridge Bank with a request to visit a cell rented 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 networks of the Italian. There was a sign on the storage that it was temporarily out of order. The manager changed the guard and disabled the surveillance cameras. Thieves quietly ransacked the financial institution, taking with them 60 million pounds. At today's prices, this amount has tripled. The authorities learned about the robbery only an hour later, this time was enough for the thieves to escape from the crime scene. The authorities only had a fragment of the print. Interpol found out that it belonged to Viccei. 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 follow its mandrel. The police arrested the impudent 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. Released, Viccei did not break with his criminal record and was killed in a shootout in 2000. The 45-year-old thief was on his way to his next bank robbery. Money was not the main thing for him - robberies and fame became for Viccea a kind of drug.
The mysterious Baghdad thief. In 2007, a private bank, Dar es Salaam, was robbed in Baghdad. When the employees went to work in the morning, they found that the doors of the establishment were open, the safe was not locked, and all the money had disappeared from it. Along with $ 282 million, 3 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 ended up with 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 assisted by the local police, who escorted them through security posts. As a result, the robbers were never caught. I must say that Iraq holds the first place in the world in the amount of money that disappears in the course of bank robberies. At least $ 1 million is stolen here every month.
Boston Museum. On March 18, 1990, two men in police uniforms convinced the guards at the Gardner Museum in Boston that they were on call. The alarm was allegedly triggered, so the halls need to be checked. The guards, contrary to their instructions, let the guests into the museum. The thieves then handcuffed the guards and took them to the basement. The bandits didn't even have weapons. Over the next 81 minutes, the thieves picked 12 of their favorites and took them away along with the CCTV film. The amount of the stolen is estimated at $ 300 million - among the paintings were the creations of Vermer and Rembrandt. The police were unable to find any trace of the intruders. True, in 1994, an anonymous author offered to return the stolen goods for an amount of $ 2.6 million in exchange for refusing to pursue further. 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 were rather careless with the paintings, and the most valuable samples remained intact. Today there is a $ 5 million reward for any information about stolen paintings. The authorities even promised not to prosecute their new owner.
Theft of bonds. This robbery on a quiet street in London would be like an ordinary street robbery, if not for one "but". Courier John Goddard, 58, was carrying $ 292 million worth of bonds in his briefcase. These checks belonged to the Bank of England Treasury and housing companies. The essence of bonds is that the one who holds them is considered to be their owner. In fact, this is a kind of cash. They put a knife to Goddard's throat and took away his case. Over time, the police arrested Keith Chizman, who was imprisoned 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 uncovered a gang of thieves, only two of them remained unknown to the authorities. Surprising is the fact that one of the most high-profile robberies in our time was committed on an ordinary dark street with a knife in hand.
Central Bank of Iraq. This robbery is again linked to Iraq, a country where the disappearance of money from the bank no longer surprises anyone. Usually, crimes of this kind require painstaking planning, and often force is required. 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, over time began to consider the entire country as his fiefdom. And he perceived the Central Bank of Iraq as a personal depository of his money. Early in the morning of March 18, 2003, just a few hours before the start of a military campaign against the country, Saddam Hussein's youngest son appeared in the office of the main financial institution with the dictator's closest assistant. They demanded to give them 900 million dollars and 100 million euros. Instead of documents, the couple presented only a personal order from Saddam Hussein 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. The dictator's envoys refused to say why they need so much money and where they will be moved. The bank loaded the cash for 2 hours, and they ended up 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 all Iraqi foreign exchange reserves. Bankers report that earlier Hussein and his family members applied for cash to banks, but they did it infrequently, and the amount did not exceed $ 5 million. Americans believe that such an impressive amount was required by the dictator, that in case of defeat in the war, they will be used abroad. However, Hussein was caught and executed, later his son was killed. 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 that they were taken to Syria.