The Art of Theft: Uncovering the Astounding and Dangerous Robberies

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In a world filled with tales of daring and danger, a collection of legendary dangerous robberies has captivated imaginations for decades. From the audacious Great Train Robbery of 1963 to the meticulous Banco Central in Brazil Burglary of 2005, these gripping stories of cunning and risk-taking will leave you on the edge of your seat. Join us as we delve into the intriguing world of high-stakes heists, where fortunes were seized and lives forever altered. Brace yourself for a journey through time and across continents as we unravel the captivating narratives behind some of the world’s greatest and most dangerous robberies. Get ready to be hooked from the very first moment as we unveil the thrilling legends of these extraordinary crimes.

Let’s Explore the Epic and Dangerous Robberies Across the Globe

Embark on a thrilling journey as we delve into the realm of epic and dangerous robberies spanning the globe, unraveling tales of audacity, cunning, and peril that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Prepare to be captivated by the high-stakes heists that defy the boundaries of imagination and showcase the true limits of human determination.


The Great Train Robbery (1963)

The great train robbery was made at Bridgego Railway Bridge in Buckinghamshire, England. The Royal Mails’ Travelling Post Office (TPO) train was stopped by signal tampering. Bruce Reynolds led his 15-member gang. They stole 2.3 million pounds in small currency notes.

This incident was relatively peaceful as only the driver was hit on the head and injured. This one isn’t dangerous robberies but worth millions of dollars. The police tracked them soon from their fingerprints at their hideout at Leatherslade Farm.

Thirteen robbers were caught, tried, and imprisoned. One Ronnie Biggs escaped from prison and is still at large. The last of the lot, Charlie Wilson, had settled in Canada on Rigaud Mountain in complete privacy. His wife made the mistake of calling her mother back in England; thus, Scotland Yard tracked him down.

Lufthansa Burglary (1978)

The Lufthansa burglary was pre-planned – the mastermind was Jimmy Burke – the idea generated by Martin Krugman. He had been tipped off by Louis Werner, who owed Martin $20,000 through gambling debt. He told him the money was taken to West Germany for exchange, where it’ll be stored at Kennedy Airport in a cardboard vault.

A guard noticed a van parked near the vault on 11th December at 3:00 AM. He was struck, disarmed, told to keep the alarm silent, and handcuffed. They took hold of more employees at gunpoint and rounded up all the rest at the cafeteria.

The burglars then summoned Rudi Eirich by intercom on some emergency pretext. He was the only one who knew the codes to open the double-door vault. At first sight, they surrounded him with guns and let him see the bounded employees in the cafeteria. They hurried him downstairs to open the vault. Eirich was surprised that the burglars knew the security systems and the precautions. They did not let him open the vault’s second door until the outer door was closed to avoid the alarm.

As soon as the vault was open, they sorted the invoices to select the parcels that contained money. During loading, one burglar’s mask slipped and showed his glimpse. The robbers warned all the employees that their families would be hurt if they reported to the police. The alarm was sounded at 4:30 AM. The burglary was reported to be worth $5 million in cash and $875000 in jewels. The whole proceedings took only one hour. No arrests were made!


Brinks Mat Warehouse Burglary (1983)

The burglary was planned at Heathrow Airport on 26 November 1983. The gang entered the warehouse with the help of security guard Anthony Black (related to the gang’s mastermind Brian Robinson). 

The burglars expected 3 million pounds but landed on ten tonnes of gold bullion. They loaded the gold and fled away. One of the gangs had links with a genuine gold dealer in Bristol. So, he melted the gold to recast it for sale.

Soon vast amounts of money passing through a Bristol bank were reported to the police. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard found the clue, and Black confessed to having helped the raiders. 

The main culprits were sentenced to 25 years in jail, and Black got six years. In 1986 Nove was fined 70,0000 pounds with 14 years in prison for conspiring and handling Brinks Mat gold. Three tons of gold were never traced that had been sold.

Knightsbridge Security Deposit Robbery (1987)

The security deposit is situated in Westminster, London. Two prospective ‘clients’ entered the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Center on 12th July to rent a safe deposit box. 

As soon they entered the vault, they immediately subdued the manager at gunpoint along with the guards. The shrewd thieves hung a sign outside the vault saying “vault closed temporally” and invited more of their accomplices. They broke open the safe boxes, left with an estimated hoard of over $70 million, and escaped quietly.

After some time, one guard freed himself and raised the alarm. The fingerprints led the investigators to an Italian Valerio Vicei—the man arrested after surveillance and his several accomplices on 12th August 1987.


The Boston Museum Robbery (1990)

The Boston Museum was deprived of some very unusual Art Treasures in 1990. The massive loss of the world-renowned, irreplaceable, and valuable paintings was estimated at over $300 million.

Two unarmed robbers dressed as police officers managed entry into the museum at 1:00 AM, on 18th March, just after celebrations on St. Patrick’s Day. The security head couldn’t explain this late-hour entry. The door guards were immediately overpowered, knocked down, and handcuffed in the basement. The robbers stayed for 1.5 hours collecting their booty of prized paintings.

Moreover, this included 3 Rembrandts and a Chinese Bronze Beaker. They cut away the canvas cruelly from near the frames while hanging. They stacked away “Landscape with an Obelisk” by Govaert Flinck and “The Concert” by Vermeer. Besides these, they ripped 5 Degas sketches from the short gallery and a Manet Portrait from the Blue room. They flew away from the Bronze Eagle that adorned the Napoleon flag mast. If lives were involved, it would also be one of the most dangerous robberies because of their behavior.

These untidy robbers ransacked the museum wonders like Rembrandt’s only seascape, “Storm on the Galilee.” The painting was cut hastily, leaving ragged canvas edges intact in the empty hanging frames at the museum. Unfortunately, the small museum was uninsured and had to bear the loss. The robbers also snatched the surveillance tape during the heist. It has been known of any recovery made since the date.

Dunbar Armored Robbery (1997)

The Dunbar Armored robbery in Los Angeles, California, has been rated the most significant cash haul in the United States – it occurred on 13th September 1997. The amount involved was about $19 million. 

This proved to be an inside man’s job. Allen Pace, who worked there as a safety inspector, planned and recruited five friends for the robbery. Knowing all the security measures and how to avoid the cameras, Pace and his accomplices entered on Friday night using his keys. He knew the vault would remain open due to massive Friday money movements. Thus, they all rushed to the locker and subdued the guards before they could raise the alarm. The U-haul was waiting, and the high denomination notes were loaded quickly. Pace knew the bags that contained the nonsequence notes. He also snatched the security camera recording devices.

The police suspected staff involvement and also watched Pace. The gang members were cautious in their spending. However, one member gave a colleague a pack of bills in its original strap wrapping and was immediately tracked by police. All the robbers were arrested, and Pace was sentenced to 24 years in jail. Only about half of the total money was recovered.


Central Bank of Iraq Robbery (2003)

Saddam Hussain reportedly robbed the Central Bank of Iraq, taking $1.00 billion in one day. – just before the U.S. troops bombed Iraq in 2003. Fortunately, the amount was mostly recovered from the walls of his palace. 

The bank’s General Manager also confirmed another professional independent robbery, which amounted to $250 million and 18 billion Iraqi dinars.

Saddam Husain is also said to have paid his son Qusay $950 million through a handwritten note. So, he transferred the money by truck. This amount was never recovered even after Qusay was killed by U.S. troops while fighting. Therefore this is the biggest heist so far.

Northern Bank Robbery (2004)

Belfast Headquarters was robbed of a considerable amount in cash on 20th December. The gang members went to the home of two bank officers disguised as policemen and held their families at gunpoint on Sunday evening. The officials were instructed to report to the bank and cooperate to save their families. They did so and stayed busy after business hours, admitting the gang members in. So, it is also known as one of the most dangerous robberies because civilian lives were involved.

The bank carried huge cash for ATMs and Christmas in-store. Soon the money was loaded in several vehicles, including one ‘Luton’ van. The gang left, releasing the families. The amount looted comprised 10 million pounds of uncirculated bank notes and other currencies. Reportedly the Northern Ireland proficient group was suspected of the heist.

The British and Irish governments developed friction over this one of British history’s biggest cash & dangerous robberies. Everything remained confused by politics, and nothing was known of it.


Banco Central in Brazil Burglary (2005)

The classical event had an extensive adventure element built in. Therefore, Banco Central has entrusted the control of the money supply. They had accumulated a vast amount of used un sequel currency notes. These were being segregated for recirculation and destruction.

The burglars planned it well. They rented a house nearby and placed a sign of ‘Landscaping Company selling Grass” to cover up their motives. They dug a 250 feet tunnel to a place beneath the bank. Van loads of mud were transported, and nobody suspected anything because of their name displayed. The tunnel was laid 13 feet deep and had its lighting system, and was wood-lined.

On the weekend, between 6 and 7 August, the gang broke through ONE-meter thick steel/concrete wall to enter the bank vault. This was a messy affair as the total money weighed about 3.5 tons. The actual worth was reported at about $70 million.

The police arrested five persons and recovered about $5.5 million (involved in tunnel digging). The mastermind was found shot dead on 22nd October. So far, only $7 million stands recovered, while $63 million remains large.

Kent Securities Depot Robbery (2006)

This robbery is also stated to be the most significant cash hype in England. First, that heist was well-considered and planned. The robbers abducted the depot manager on the way home on 21st February. And they were disguised and shifted to a seeming police car. 

The depot manager was also handcuffed and taken to an unknown farm. Simultaneously, his eight-year-old son and wife were held hostage in their house. Therefore, the wife was tricked by a misstated accident and shifted to an unknown farm. So, the depot manager was now under pressure for his family’s security and forced to cooperate, making it one of the most dangerous robberies.

The family was taken to Securities Cash Management Ltd. Depot at Tonbridge, Kent, at 1:00 PM and were allowed in. The thieves rounded up all the staff at gunpoint and took about an hour to complete the loot. The alarm was raised later, and the police unbound them all. The heist totaled $90 million, and nothing stands recovered yet.


Wrap Up

From train heists to museum thefts, these gripping tales of cunning and daring showcase the extraordinary lengths individuals will go to in their pursuit of unimaginable fortunes. These thrilling journeys of the world’s greatest and most dangerous robberies unveil a unique blend of strategy, danger, and unexpected twists, from the notorious Great Train Robbery to the audacious Boston Museum heist. Captivate yourself with the audacity of these criminal masterminds and the lasting impact of their astonishing feats.

3 Replies to “The Art of Theft: Uncovering the Astounding and Dangerous Robberies”
  1. ellie says:

    lol saddam hussain, the man with most bad luck

  2. krishna says:

    The Greatest Robbery i ever know is the one at Bellary town karnataka India. The clock tower of this place which was in the center of the city vanished in one night n nobody knows how it happened. lol :). it was a very huge rock structure.

  3. Barry Whelan says:

    bellary clock tower ?/ only time will tell

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