7. Banco Central.
The Guinness World Record for the largest bank robbery belongs to the 2005 break-in at the central bank of Brazil. The robbers managed to steal about $70 million in $50 bills weighing 3.5 tons. It was a classic bank robbery - the robbers dug a tunnel under the vault building and managed to get the money out. Police managed to catch several members of the gang, but so far have only managed to recover about $9 million.
This robbery, which occurred in 2008, has a lot in common with the other robberies on our list - a burglary tunnel was dug (in this case into a jewelry store in Milan), the robbers wore fake police uniforms...and made a fatal mistake. It was that the most valuable items were not in the showroom at that moment. They were on Hollywood stars that night.
The burglars chose the night of the Oscars to commit the break-in, knowing that the salon owner would be attending the ceremony in Los Angeles. But apparently they didn't consider that the most expensive jewelry wouldn't be in the salon, either. For example, a bracelet with 1865 diamonds adorned Tilda Swinton's wrist. Nevertheless, the thieves took out jewelry worth a total of $30 million, so it's unlikely they were too upset. By 2017, they still hadn't been found.
5. The Securitas Depot.
This is one of the biggest robberies in the UK, when about $87 million was stolen. The manager of the depot was stopped by what he thought was a police car (a trick criminals often use) and kidnapped. Along with him, the robbers took his family hostage as well. They were then taken to the vault, where 14 employees were already tied up.
The robbers took the cash and left the hostages locked up. Five men were eventually arrested, and the gang leader was caught later in the West Indies, where he was hiding with the money.
4. The Great Brink's.
Another Boston robbery that has been called the "robbery of the century," although its instigators were eventually arrested by the FBI. It took place on January 17, 1950 in the Brink's Bank building. The criminals had been burglarizing for about two years, and it took a long time to choose the right date for this crime.
Eventually, at 6:55 p.m., they entered the bank with duplicate keys, tied up employees, and made off with $1,218,211 in cash and over half a million dollars in checks. It took six years to catch them, but all were discovered and put on trial. Some had already managed to die in that time, and eight of them received life sentences. The crime of the century seems to have gone awry towards the end...
3. Antwerp Diamond.
This is another robbery that may well be called the "robbery of the century," even though it did not take place in the 20th, but in the 21st century. It took place in Antwerp in February 2003, when robbers led by Leonardo Natarbartolo stole diamonds worth approximately $100 million. It is the largest diamond theft in history.
Notarbartolo carefully planned the crime, renting an office in the building where the jewels were stored two and a half years earlier. That's how he gained confidence, and he also gained 24-hour access to the building. Unfortunately, he made the mistake of leaving half a sandwich at the scene, and the police were able to trace it back to him through a DNA test. He was jailed for 10 years, but afterwards he got parole and admitted that he was paid to commit the robbery.
2. the Lufthansa terminal.
Many of the robberies on our list have served as inspiration for movies. The most famous is Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, which is based on the 1978 heist of the Lufthansa terminal at JFK Airport. The target of the crime was a vault holding U.S. currency being shipped from the FRG.
The robbery was planned by Jimmy Burke, who was affiliated with the Lucchese crime clan. At first everything went smoothly and the robbers managed to take out $6 million, but then everything went wrong. The driver of the van the gang members drove off in was supposed to destroy it, but instead left it in the parking area.
The FBI found the van and located the driver. After his arrest, he began to testify, but was soon killed. Next came a wave of murders to eliminate witnesses. But eventually Jimii Burke was found guilty of killing Richard Eaton in 1985, and died of cancer in 1996. Six million dollars was never found.
1. The Great Train Robbery
Speaking of famous robberies, it's impossible not to mention the 1963 mail train robbery in England. Fifteen robbers, including the famous Ronnie Biggs, stole £2.6 million, the equivalent of about £46 million in today's reckoning.
The scheme of the robbery was incredibly simple. They faked signals, waited for the train to stop, and then broke into it and demanded money from the guards. Of course, they were all caught by the British police and received sentences of up to 30 years in prison.