robbing is a time-honored technique used by people who fantasize about never having to work again.
Granted, it’s the more extreme method. And it’s successful only as long as you don’t get caught. But many robbers do find themselves behind bars eventually.
As you’ll discover here, pulling off a heist is not quite as easy as it appears in the movies.
Here are list of 17 Biggest robberies and heist in History
1- Hatton Garden Jewelry Robbery
In March 2016 seven men with a combined age of 443 years were sentenced at the old Bailey For breaking in to a Hatton Garden security deposit vault in one of the most audacious heist in living memory.
Masterminded by Brian Reader, 76, with other career thieves who had previously been implicated in decades of London heist, the Robbers used an elevator shaft to get close to the underground strong room, then drilled through half a Meter of concrete into the vault.
The value of the stolen stones has been estimated at as much as £200 million, and although the “ Old Blaggers “ were caught and imprisoned, almost none of their haul has ever been recovered.
2- Russian hackers
Between 2014 to 2016, a ring of Russian computer hackers stole an estimated £650 million from banks all over the world.
Using malware and phishing to hack bank’s systems, they studied the operations and routines of the banks, even watching through webcams and CCTV systems, then transferred money through fake accounts. They even programmed ATM’s to dispense cash at specific times.
Never taking more than £80 million from single target, the gang robbed as many as 100 banks in 30 countries and remain at large to this day.
3- The pink panthers
Responsible for a string of the most audacious heist ever, the pink panthers gang surpassed themselves when four men dressed as women stormed harry Winston’s exclusive Jewelry store in Paris. After herding customers and staff into a corner, they smashed display cases and escaped with an estimated £85 million in diamonds.
Four years later, in 2013, a sole robber in a baseball cap, with a scarf over his face, walked in to an exhibition of the leview diamond house in the Carlton Hotel in Cannes and made off with possibly the greatest single Jewelry theft of all time, estimated at £100 million. The pink panthers were again suspected as being behind the robbery.
4- Saddam Hussein
The Largest single bank heist of all time was committed the day before the coalition invaded Iraq in 2003, when Saddam Hussein sent his son. Qusay, To the central bank of Iraq with a handwritten note to withdraw all the cash in the bank. Qusay then removed About $1 Billion ( £80 million ) in $100 dollar notes in strongboxes, requiring three lorries to carry it all.
Approximately $650 million ( £525 million ) was found later by US troops hidden in the walls of one of Saddam’s palaces. Although both of Saddam’s sons were killed, and Saddam was captured and executed, more than one third of the money was never recovered.
5- Boston Museum heist
Apparently responding to a disturbance call, two men disguised as policemen were Admitted to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston.
Quickly overcoming the guards. They spent an hour ransacking the museum before making off with 13 works of Art with an estimated value of half billion dollars – the most valuable theft of private property every. Among the pieces were a Rembrandt, several Degas drawings and one of the 34 known Vermeers in the world.
Nobody was ever arrested, and not one of the pieces has ever been recovered. The frames of the stolen artworks still hang Empty in the museum.
6- Great Train Robbery
The theft of £2.6 million ( US $3.4 million ) doesn’t sound that much these days, but that was big money when thieves stole mailbags from a Royal Mail Train in England in 1963. Accomplished using only a metal bar. The tale of the theft has entered British history. Most of the 17 – strong gang were captured and imprisoned, but Ronnie Biggs and Charles Wilson notoriously both escaped.
7- Ferdinand Marcos
Former philippine president Ferdinand Marcos was a greedy man. He is widely believed to have taken between US$5 billion and US$10 billion, through government loans, bribes, embezzlement, taken over private companies and outright theft. The proceeds were put in foreign bank accounts and invested in real estate in the US. He was toppled by massive protests, and died in exile in Hawaii in 1989. Authorities have so far recovered more than US$4 billion of stolen assets.
8- The Great Oil Heist
In 2011, subsidiaries of shell and ENI paid US $1.1 billion to the Nigerian government for an offshore block with estimated oil reserves of 9 billion barrels. The government transferred exactly the same amount to an account earmarked for Malabu Oil and Gas, an anonymous shell company whose hidden owner was Dan Etete then secretly awarded the oil block to himself while he was Nigerian’s petroleum minister in 1998. After years of legal battles, the oil block was taken from Malabu Oil and Gas and awarded to shell and ENI, who then paid the money to Nigerian government, allegedly with knowledge that it would be forwarded to Etete’s company. That US $1.1 billion could have been used to fully immunize every single child under 5 in the country. Both shell and ENI are the focus of corruption investigations in Italy. Netherlands and the UK.
9- Sani Abacha
By the time he died of a hear attack in 1998. General Sani Abacha had reportedly stolen between US$3 billion and US $5 billon in his five years of governing Nigerian. He got money through dodgy bond deals, but also by simply taking tens of millions in cash from the central bank for ‘’ National security ‘’ projects. Nigerian officials have managed to reclaim a small part of the money through smart sleuthing and hard – fought legal battles. But the bulk of it remains missing. In part because he used anonymous shell companies to hide the money in countries around the world.
10- Jean – Claude Duvalier
Former Haitian president “ baby Doc ‘’ Duvalier May top the list here, given how much money he is believed to have stolen from a small, poor country. “ Duvalier allegedly stole the equivalent of 1.7% to 4.5% of Haitian GDP for every year he was in power, ‘’ according to the world bank the search for his money is still going on, decades after he lost power in 1986.
11- The Dar Es Salaam Bank heist
Stolen $256 million dollars to this day, few details are known about the 2007 robbery at Dar Es Salaam Bank, a private financial institution in Baghdad, Iraq it’s unclear the bank had so much American cash on hand to steal.
Allegedly, the theft was orchestrated by several bank guards. The government suspected the robbers also had contacts within local police and militias that allowed them to pass through the many checkpoints across Baghdad undetected.
No further information has been released about the whereabouts of the money or those responsible.
12- Antwerp Diamond Heist
This 2003 Robbery was dubbed the ‘’ heist of the century ‘’ with large quantities of gold, diamonds and Jewelry getting lifted from the Antwerp diamond center. The estimated worth of the missing items was more than $100 million, but as it turns out there was more to the story. Leonardo Notarbartola orchestrated the robbery, and lived besides the diamond center for three years prior to the crime. As part of this sophisticated ruse, Leonardo posed as an Italian diamond Merchant in order to gain credibility at the center.
More than 123 out of 160 safe – deposit boxes were forced open, each of which was made of steel and had a unique key/combination lock. Leonardo was arrested. Thought his entire crew got away. To this day no one knows how the robbers were able to break in to such Sophisticated security systems. Years later, he gave an interview to Wired Magazine, in which he Claims the whole thing was an insurance fraud attempt by a diamond merchant who hired him. Apparently, the actual score was closer to $20 million leaving the lion’s share of the theft to be suffered by the insurance company.
13- Vagtberga Helicopter Robbery
In 2009, an otherwise bored police force in Sweden had to face a highly organized gang of daring criminals, in the country’s first ever ‘’ Helicopter Robbery ‘’ the crew of Thieves used a stolen helicopter to land on the roof of a cash depot building. They broke through glass with sledgehammers, blew through security doors with explosives, and raided the cash store vaults; stealing bags of money as they made their escape. Police cars arriving on the scene had their tires blown out by caltrops that the criminals had littered all over the road. despite being captured eventually, none of the thieves received more than 7 years in prison.
14- Millennium Dome Raid
The year was 2000, and London had finally finished construction on the catastrophic waste of money known as the Millennium Dome. Among its many displays, was a world class diamond exhibit. The crown jewel was the “ millennium Star ‘’ – a flawless 203 carat gem worth $250 million. The Robbers planned an explosive smash and grab job. Running in guns blazing and escaping on a waiting speedboat. Their was failed, However, as London’s metropolitan police had coincidentally already had them under surveillance for a few armored car robberies, arresting them on site.
15- The Collar Bomb Bank Robbery
This one may sound familiar to anyone who’s seen 30 minutes or less, but the real story is far more tragic. In 2003, a middle – aged pizza deliveryman walked into a bank. handed the teller a note asking for the money in the vault – and then lifted his shirt to display a collar bomb around his neck and chest. After Stealing the money, he got about 15 minutes away before state troopers arrested him.
He started screaming that he had been forced to perform the robbery and the bomb was going to go off. The police surrounded the area and waited for the disposal squad to arrive – but before they could get there, the bomb started beeping and blew up. The late gets stranger from there, with FBI investigators, a long paper trail of clues, and dead bodies hidden in freezers. Worth a read if you enjoy truth that’s stranger than fiction.
16- Banco Central Burglary
In Fortaleza, brazil 🇧🇷; 2005
Stolen : $70 million
After renting commercial property in the middle of the city and posing as landscapers, the gang behind this enormous heist spent three months digging a 256 – foot tunnel to a position beneath the bank. Then, over a weekend in August, they tunneled up through reinforced concrete into the vault of the Banco Central branch and managed to remove 3.5 tons of Brazilian real notes. Much of which has never been recovered.
17- Securitas Depot Robbery
In Kent, UK 🇬🇧; 2006
Stolen : £53.1 million ($83.3 million)
This brazen heist remains the largest cash robbery in British history and was executed with a more violent version than most others on this list. After posing as police and kidnapping both the Securities branch manager and his family, the heavily armed gang of thieves brought him to the depot where they then bound his 14 employees and forced him to open the cash cages. Most of the crew ( which included one of the most world’s foremost cage fighters ) was later caught and convicted, although at least one is said to be living off the loot as a free man in the West Indies.