These 5 Real Life Robberies are far better than Money Heist

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Many of us have watched and loved the Spanish drama series called La Casa de Papel, aka Money Heist. However, you are in for a surprise if you think that only our professor could plan such awesome robberies.

Here are some of the greatest and most sensational real-life robberies.

1. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Robbery, Boston, 1990

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Robbery
The empty frame from which thieves cut Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee remains on display at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The painting was one of 13 works stolen from the museum in 1990

In the early hours of March 18, 1990, thirteen pieces of artworks were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (1) in Boston. According to the guards of the museum, two men posed as police officers tied them up and looted the museum for the entire hour. 

The missing works of art include Rembrand, Manet, and few pieces of Degas, which has an estimated value of 500 million dollars. To date, there has been no arrest or recovery made regarding the robbery. A 10 million reward is also offered by the museum for any lead towards the revival of art pieces. It is one of the most enormous bounties ever provided by a private institution. 

Currently, the museum is hanging empty frames in the places of stolen pieces in their homage. The robbery, nevertheless, remains one of the greatest unsolved crimes in the history of America.

 

2. Robbery of 6 Billion Dollars in Post-Saddam Iraq

Iraq 6 billion robbery
The United States Ambassador to Iraq, the honorable L. Paul Bremer, shakes hands with an American military member while walking with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh to the Baghdad International Airport before his departure from Iraq.

After Saddam’s fall in Iraq, many forces, including private security contractors and US military forces, were trying to get the regions. Many chaoses followed as the activities rise to gain control of Iraq. During such disorders, someone stole the 6 billion dollars that were sent by the US Congress for the progress in Iraq.

According to Stuart Bowen (2), a Special inspector general for the reconstruction of Iraq, there is no account for the money. Further, he also said that it is one of the largest robbery of funds in national history. 

It got massive robbery funds along with a complete lack of results from investigations. Another thing which makes this theft in more extensive and strange among all robberies is how everyone just seems to forget entirely about it. 

 

3. The Great Train Robbery, England, 1963

The Great Train Robbery, England
The Great Train Robbery, England circa 1963: Investigators examine the Royal Mail train involved in the Great Train Robbery. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

In the year 1963, 2.3 million pounds or today’s 40 million pounds were stolen from a post-office train in England. A gang of 15 members pulls off the entire heist even without using a single gun. The crew tampered with the railway track signals to stop the Royal Mail night train. 

The train was traveling from Glasgow to London through the West Coast Main Line on August 8, 1963, carrying various parcels and letters along with the massive amount of bills. After stopping the train in the early hours at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn, near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, the crew attack the train. Even though the leader of the gang, Bruce Reynolds, was caught and sentenced to prison for 30 years, the bulk of stolen money was never recovered.

 

4. D. B. Cooper, 1971

Cooper's FBI Sketch
Cooper’s FBI Sketch

D. B. Cooper is an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft on the Wednesday afternoon of November 24, 1971. He seized a plane in the northwest of the United States between Portland, Seatle, Washington, and Orgon airspace. 

The man purchased his ticket under the name of Dan Cooper, however, due to the miscommunication of news, he became popular with the name D. B. Cooper. He extracted 200,000 US dollars in ransom, which is equivalent to 1,260,000 US dollars in 2019. He later parachuted with an uncertain fate from the midflight plane somewhere between Portland and Seatle. The survival and the identity of the man is still a mystery. This skyjacking is the only case of its kind that is remained unsolved in the books of the FBI. 

The FBI had the investigation active for this case for over 45 years after the incident. They found no conclusion about the man’s identity and whereabouts, even after getting 60 volumes in the case file. They suspended their investigation after July 2016, yet the agency requests for any physical evidence related to the parachutes or the ransom money for analysis.

 

5. The Heist of the Century – Antwerp Diamond Robbery

Antwerp diamond heist
Antwerp diamond heist

The Antwerp diamond heist is considered as one of the largest thefts in history. If you are wondering why it is called the heist of the century, then read the below text. The gang stole various items from the vault, including loose diamonds and gold valued more than 100 million dollars. The robbery happened during the weekend of 15th and 16th February 2003 in Antwerp, Belgium. 

Leonardo Notarbartolo, who was leading the crew of thieves, later got arrested. The vault he and his gang robbed was considered impenetrable. It had the 10 layer security protection that includes infrared heat detectors, doppler radar, magnetic field, a seismic sensor. Further, it also consists of a lock that has 100 million possible combinations. It was called the heist of the century because even the police couldn’t figure out how the robbers concluded the heist. 

After getting arrested for 10 years while is crew got out, Notarbarloto gave us a twist in the story. In an interview with Wired, Notarbarloto claimed that he was hired by the diamond merchant himself for the robbery. Further, he also said that they looted only 200 million dollars worth of spoils. He claimed that it was all part of insurance fraud. But there were various doubts in his story because the vault itself wasn’t insured; hence only a little money of insurance was involved. And guess what? The stolen diamonds remain uncovered even today. 

So what do you think about these mindblowing robberies? Are you getting any ideas for a potential Hollywood movie from these heists? Let us know. Don’t forget to share with us other real-life robbery stories that left you dazzled. 

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Rucha Joshi, currently managing a team of over 20 content writers at TimesNext is fueled by her passion for creative writing. She is eager to turn information into action. With her hunger for knowledge, she considers herself a forever student and a passionate leader.

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