Added on: 12th Dec 2014
On December 11, 1978 Jimmy Burke, an Irish American gangster
who was part of the Luccese crime family in New York City got permission
from the Gambino crime family (who controlled most of JFK airport) to
carry out a heist. That morning, before the sun came up, gunmen from
both families entered building 261 and made off with $6 million. It was much
more money than anyone expected though, and led to a lot of infighting
after the robbery.
THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY
In August 1963, Bruce Reynolds and his gang boarded a train at
Bridego Railway Bridge in Buckinghamshire, England and made off with
£2.6 million or the equivalent of £40 million today. Although it was an
enormous lump of cash, and most of the robbers fled the country,
their luck eventually ran dry and they were all caught.
DUNBAR ARMORED FACILITY ROBBERY
The largest cash robbery to ever take place in the United States, this
inside job was orchestrated by Allen Pace, one of the employees, on
September 12, 1997 at the Dunbar Armoured car facility in Los Angeles,
California. The thieves made off with about $18 million. They were
eventually caught and Allen received 20 years in prison.
DRUMLANRIG CASTLE ROBBERY
On August 27, 2003, four men acting as tourists stole a
Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece, Madonna of the Yarnwinder, from the
Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland using nothing more than an axe.
Valued at around $40 million it was recovered not long ago.
NORTHERN BANK ROBBERY
Smart planning, some hostage-taking, and a lot of guts were needed in
order to pull off this heist in Belfast, Ireland that amounted to over $50
million. The night before the crime, two officials of the Northern Bank
were visited by the robbers acting as policemen who then proceeded to
hold both of their families hostage. The officials obviously gave the
thieves the access they wanted. The case still remains unsolved.
CELLINI SALT CELLAR ROBBERY
The Cellini Salt Cellar, part-enamelled gold table sculpture by
Benvenuto Cellini, was stolen from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in
Vienna in May 2003. Surprising enough, however, the work of art was
recovered in Zwettl, Austria buried in the ground not long after.
Eventually Robert Mang, a resident of Vienna, turned himself in.
THE GRAFF DIAMONDS ROBBERY
The Graff Diamonds robbery took place on 6 August 2009 when
two men posing as customers entered the premises of Graff Diamonds
in New Bond Street, London and stole jewellery worth nearly £40 million.
The robbers used the services of a professional make-up artist to alter
their hair by using wigs, their skin tones and their features using latex
prosthetics. The artist took four hours to apply the disguises, having been
told that it was for a music video. Although the robbers were all
eventually caught, as of yet none of the stolen jewels have been recovered.
The Brink’s-MAT robbery occurred on 26 November 1983 when
six robbers broke into the Brink’s-MAT warehouse at Heathrow Airport,
London. At the time, it was described as “the crime of the century”.
The gang gained entry to the warehouse from security guard
Anthony Black. The robbers thought they were going to steal £3 million in
cash. However, when they arrived, they found three tonnes of gold
bullion and stole £26 million worth of gold, diamonds and cash. Once
inside, they poured petrol over staff and threatened them with a lit match
if they did not reveal the combination numbers of the vault. Most of
the three tonnes of stolen gold has never been recovered and four of the
robbers were never convicted. According to the BBC, some have claimed
that anyone wearing gold jewellery bought in the UK after 1983 is
probably wearing Brink’s-MAT.
THE SECURITAS DEPOT ROBBERY
The Securitas depot robbery was the largest cash robbery in British
history. It took place on the evening of 21 February 2006 from 18:30 GMT
until the early hours of 22 February 2006. Several men abducted and
threatened the family of the manager, tied up fourteen staff members and
stole £53,116,760 in bank notes from a Securitas Cash Management
Ltd depot in Vale Road, Tonbridge, Kent. All the robbers were
eventually caught and convicted.