10. The Lufthansa Heist (1978): US$5.8 million
The Lufthansa heist was a robbery at John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 11, 1978. An estimated $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewels were stolen, at the time making it the largest cash robbery ever committed on American soil. This robbery was the subject of two television films, The $10 Million Dollar Getaway and The Big Heist, and is a key plot element in the 1990 film Goodfellas. -Wikipedia.org
9. The Dunbar Armored Robbery (1997): US$18.9 million
The Dunbar Armored robbery is the largest cash robbery to have occurred in the United States. It occurred in 1997 at the Dunbar Armored facility in Los Angeles, California. The thieves made off with some US$18.9 million. The robbery was masterminded by Allen Pace, who worked for Dunbar as a regional safety inspector. While on the job, Pace had time to photograph and examine the company’s Los Angeles armored car depot. He recruited five of his childhood friends, and on the night of Friday, September 12, 1997, Pace used his keys to gain admittance to the facility.
Pace had timed the security cameras and determined how they could be avoided. Once inside, they waited within the staff cafeteria, ambushing the guards one by one. Pace knew that on Friday nights the vault was open due to the large quantities of money being moved. Rushing the vault guards, the robbers managed to subdue them before they could signal any alarms. In half an hour, the robbers had loaded millions of dollars into a waiting U-Haul. Pace knew exactly which bags contained the highest denomination and non-sequential bills. He also knew where the recording devices for the security cameras were located and took these. -Wikipedia.org
8. The Brinks Mat Robbery (1983): US$45 million
The Brinks Mat Robbery occurred on 26 November 1983 when six robbers broke into the Brinks Mat warehouse at Heathrow Airport, England. The robbers thought they were going to steal £3 million in cash; however, when they arrived, they found three tonnes of gold bullion (worth £26 million). The gang gained entry to the warehouse from security guard Anthony Black, the brother-in-law of Brian Robinson who conceived the raid.
Scotland Yard quickly discovered the family connection and Black confessed to aiding and abetting the raiders, providing them with a key to the main door, and giving them details of security measures. Tried at the Old Bailey, Robinson and gang leader Michael McAvoy were each sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for armed robbery, along with Peter Mitchell a notorious armed robber Black received six years. -Wikipedia.org
7. The Northern Bank Robbery (2004): US$50 million
The Northern Bank robbery was a large robbery of cash from the Donegall Square headquarters of the Northern Bank in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Carried out by a large, proficient group on 20 December 2004, the gang seized £26.5 million in pounds sterling, making it one of the biggest bank robberies in UK history.
Although the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the British and Irish governments claimed the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) was responsible (or had permitted others to undertake the raid), this is denied by the Provisional IRA and the political party Sinn Féin. -Wikipedia.org
6. The Banco Central Burglary at Fortaleza (2005): US $69.8 million
The Banco Central burglary at Fortaleza was a bank robbery of the Banco Central in Fortaleza, a city in northeastern Brazil. It is one of the world’s largest burglaries, along with the 1987 Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery in London. On the weekend of August 6, 2005 and August 7, 2005 a gang of burglars tunneled into the Banco Central in Fortaleza. They removed five containers of 50-real notes, with an estimated value of R$164,755,150 (as on December, 2009, US$94.3 million) and weighing about 3.5 tons.
The money was uninsured; a bank spokeswoman stated that the risks were too small to justify the insurance premiums. The burglars managed to evade or disable the bank’s internal alarms and sensors; the burglary remained undiscovered until the bank opened for business on the morning of Monday, August 8, 2005. The Banco Central is a national banking institution charged with control of the money supply. The money in the vault was being examined to see if it should be recirculated or destroyed. The bills were not numbered sequentially, making them almost impossible to trace. -Wikipedia.org
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5. The Great Train Robbery (1963): US $74 million
The Great Train Robbery is the name given to a £2.6 million train robbery committed on 8 August 1963 at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England. The bulk of the stolen money was not recovered. At the time, it was probably the largest robbery by value in British history, until the Baker Street robbery of 1971. At 6:50 p.m. on Wednesday 7 August 1963 the travelling post office (TPO) “Up Special” train set off from Glasgow Central Station, Scotland en-route to Euston Station in London. The train was hauled by an English Electric Type 4 (later Class 40) diesel-electric locomotive numbered at the time as D326 (later renumbered 40126).
The train consisted of 12 carriages and carried 72 Post Office staff who sorted mail. The mail was loaded on the train at Glasgow and during station stops en-route, as well as from line side collection points where local post office staff would hang mail sacks on elevated trackside hooks which were caught by nets deployed by the onboard post office staff. Sorted mail on the train could also be dropped-off and collected at the same time. This process of exchange allowed mail to be distributed locally without delaying the train with more frequent station stops.
The second carriage behind the engine was known as the HVP (High Value Package) coach where registered mail was sorted and this contained valuables including large quantities of money, registered parcels and packages. Usually the value of these items would have been in the region of £300,000, but because there had been a Bank Holiday weekend in Scotland, the total on the day of the robbery was £2.6 million — worth a little over £40 million in 2010. -Wikipedia.org
4. The Securitas Depot Robbery (2006): US $92.5 million
The Securitas depot robbery was the largest cash robbery in British history, that took place in the evening of 21 February 2006 from 18:30 UTC until the early hours of 22 February. Several men abducted and threatened the family of the manager, tied up fourteen staff members and stole £53,116,760 (about US$92.5 million at the time of the robbery) in bank notes from a Securitas Cash Management Ltd depot in Vale Road, Tonbridge, Kent. -Wikipedia.org
3. The Knightsbridge Security Deposit Robbery (1987): US $111 million
The Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery took place on 12 July 1987 in Knightsbridge, England, part of the City of Westminster in London. This robbery, the Banco Central robbery at Fortaleza, and the $900 million stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq in 2003 are said to be the largest bank robberies in history. The robbery was led by Valerio Viccei (1955-2000), a lawyer’s son who arrived in London in 1986, where he was wanted for 50 armed robberies in his native Italy. He soon took hold of a Beretta pistol and resumed his robbery career to fund his playboy lifestyle.
Two men entered the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre and requested to rent a Safe deposit box. After being shown into the vault, they produced hand guns and subdued the manager and security guards. The thieves then hung a sign on the street level door explaining that the Safe Deposit Centre was temporarily closed, whilst letting in further accomplices.
They broke open many of the safe deposit boxes and left with a hoard estimated to be worth £60 million (equivalent to roughly US$98 million at the 1987 exchange rate; the inflation-adjusted value would be £105 million ($174 million) as of 2006). (However, the true value of the haul was only estimated, as those renting the boxes may have, for various reasons, not correctly reported the contents.) One hour after the robbers departed the shift changed and the new staff saw and alerted the police of the occurrence. -Wikipedia.org
2. The Gardner Museum Robbery (1990): US $300 million
The largest art theft in world history occurred in Boston on March 18, 1990 when thieves stole 13 pieces, collectively worth $300 million, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A reward of $5,000,000 is still offered for information leading to their return.
The pieces stolen were: Vermeer’s “The Concert”, which is the most valuable stolen painting in the world; two Rembrandt paintings, “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee” (his only known seascape) and “Portrait of a Lady and Gentleman in Black;” A Rembrandt self-portrait etching; Manet’s “Chez Tortoni;” five drawings by Edgar Degas; Govaert Flinck’s “Landscape with an Obelisk;” an ancient Chinese Qu; and a finial that once stood atop a flag from Napoleon’s Army. -Wikipedia.org
1. The Central Bank of Iraq Robbery
In March 2003, on several occasions beginning on March 18, the day before the United States began bombing Baghdad, nearly US$1 billion was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq. This is considered the largest bank heist in history. In March 2003, a hand-written note surfaced, signed by Saddam, ordering $920 million to be withdrawn and given to his son Qusay.
Bank officials state that Qusay and another unidentified man oversaw the cash, boxes of $100 bills, being loaded into trucks during a five hour operation. Qusay was later killed by the U.S. Military in a battle. -Wikipedia.org
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