Top 10 Jewelry Heists in History
No matter how much we love expensive jewelry, it is a hard fact to admit that it is not that easy to get all the jewelry we like. These beautiful blings can cost up to a million dollars, and it's time to suck it up, we all can't afford it. Except for a few chosen people who are lucky enough to get a feel of what it is like to wear a piece of multi-million jewelry for a night; Sofia Vergara's 7 million dollar jewelry in the Emmy's is a classic example. However, some people won't lose sleep over it; they have their ways of getting the jewelry they want without spending millions. These crazy desires of people lead to the most notorious jewelry heists of all time. These jewelry crimes orchestrated by the most clever of jewelry thieves are for the books.
A few days ago, a news report showed a man and a woman wanted on several jewelry heists in the Southern states. This tandem has already amassed hundreds of thousands worth of jewelry. The emergence of jewelry theft in movies and real-life make the crime look like a trend. Today, we'll tackle some of the most clever jewelry theft crimes ever made. We're just not talking hundreds of dollars here; we're talking millions; hundreds of millions. If you can't get it, shoot it—unfortunately, no weird masks like these in these jewelry heists.
1. The Hague, Museum of Science Heist, 2002
We all might think that the museum is the safest place for jewelry because security men and CCTV cameras everywhere can easily catch a jewelry heist. Perhaps that was precisely the thought of the people in the Museon, a Museum of Science in the Netherlands, when they had a display exhibit called Diamond: From Rough Rock to Gem.
We can't help but wonder how these jewelry thieves could have run away with $12 million worth of jewelry without being caught by the guards and the security cameras. Included in the stolen jewelry were gems from royal collections that were carefully hidden in 28 alarmed cabinets. Neither of these alarms started enabling the jewelry thieves to escape immediately. The jewelry heist wasn't discovered until the day after the exhibit closed.
2. ABN Amro Bank, Antwerp, 2007
The sweet talk could lead to disaster; it is a tale as old as time, and we couldn't count the victims who fell into this trap. The same thing happened in a jewelry heist in a bank in Antwerp District, one of the world's most famous and rich diamond district. Hundreds of diamond dealers flock the place, and diamond trading is in its high. One innocent-looking, sweet-talking man in his 50's, frequented the ABN Amro bank back in 2007.
According to his passport, he was Carlos Hector Flomenbaum, a man from Argentina. People described him as a charming, thoughtful man, often gifting bank staff with expensive gifts. He gained enough of the bank's trust that he gained access to one diamond vault, cleaned off some shelves, and walked away with $28 million worth of uncut diamonds. When the heist was discovered, it was found out that the passport the man owned was also stolen.
3. Brinks Mat Warehouse Gold Heist, 1983
When six robbers broke in the Brinks Mat Warehouse, the original plan was to steal cash worth $3 million. In the turn of events, the robbers were able to amass ten bullions of gold with a total value of $26 million. Back in 1983, that was a pretty big amount. This jewelry heist was a case of the inside job as it was found out that security guard Anthony Black assisted the robbers in their entrance to the main room. The robbers were caught, and the seven bullions of gold were also recovered. Mastermind Brian Robinson was later imprisoned together with the gang leader McAvoy. Security Guard Black was also sentenced to six years of imprisonment. Unfortunately, the three bullions of gold were never recovered.
4. Damiani Showroom Milan, 2008
The fourth entry to our top 10 jewelry heists in history happened in the Damiani Showroom in Milan, Italy, way back 2008. It was a beautiful day, and the entire boutique was preparing for a jewelry display later that day. Even before the show pushed through, a band of jewelry thieves entered the showroom, tied the staff, and took $32 million worth of jewelry.
It turned out that these thieves used a tunnel they made themselves. Weeks before the jewelry heist, the neighborhood reported a suspicious drilling sound from the house beside the Damiani Showroom, a report the staff just ignored. Now, what did we say about regrets? Fortunately, some of the top pieces from the jewelry house were spared. Thanks to the stars who loaned some of the jewelry pieces for the Oscars Red Carpet.
5. Brussel's Airport, 2013
All these jewelry heists are products of either of the three things: disguise, careful planning, and a pinch of luck. The jewelry heist that happened in the Brussel's Airport was a combination of three. It was bizarre, and it causes a puzzle until now. It happened when eight men disguised as airport policemen casually stopped a plane bound for Zurich. It was no ordinary plane, for it carried some of the most expensive jewelry. These men hauled all the bags in their van and drove away. The total value of jewelry they have taken is estimated at $50 million. Until now, only a small number of jewels have been recovered from the stolen group.
6. Carlton Hotel, Cannes, 1994
This jewelry heist is considered one of the most brazen crimes ever. How could a gang of robbers walk simply in a hotel, open fire, and steal assorted jewelry with a total value of $60 million? This scene might sound impossible, but this happened in the Carlton Hotel when a band of diamond thieves known as the Pink Panthers opened fire in the room just before it was closing, took some of the top jewelry, and went away without a trace. These clever robbers, it was later found out, were shooting blanks. Perhaps they have no intention to kill, just to scare. But these jewelry thieves got away with $60 million, who could top that for a brazen jewelry crime?
7. Graff Diamonds, London, 2009
I say we should give props (no pun intended) for these men who did the extra mile to make sure they are going to get something from their heist. The two men, Solomon Beyene, and Craig Underwood, participated in perhaps one of the largest jewelry heists in British history. These two jewelry thieves entered the famous jewelry house with guns under their crisp suits. These two were believed to be associated with the notorious jewelry robbers named "The Pink Panthers."
In total, they were able to get $65 million worth of jewelry. These two guys were too confident to do the crime despite the CCTV's present, thanks to the short visit they did to a makeup artist who added prosthetics on their faces so they can be unrecognizable. However, these two thieves were not as smart as they think they were. They left their phone on their getaway car, allowing officials to identify them.
8. Harry Winston Store, Paris, 2008
Another jewelry heist attributed to the infamous Pink Panthers group. They have used several tactics from the past, like shooting guns on a blank and using prosthetics to avoid being recognized. Now, they tried another style. They entered the famous jewelry house, Harry Winston Store, in Paris in 2008, disguising themselves as women. Perhaps their cover-up wasn't that good that they immediately threatened everyone inside with their handguns. It was puzzling to the store, but these diamond thieves seem to know their way around the store, knowing where the safes and lockboxes were. Twenty minutes was all it takes for them to clear jewelry pieces with an overall total of $107 million.
9. Antwerp Diamond Center, 2003
Before we get a touch of the world's most beautiful diamonds, almost 80% of these beauties pass into the Antwerp Diamond Center, where major diamond traders do business. In this place, even uncut diamonds have significant price tags. This fact made the Antwerp Diamond Center the perfect place to conduct a diamond heist. Since Antwerp is a prominent place for diamond trading, it is used to diamond thieves.
However, nothing prepared it for the event that is considered the most famous jewelry heist in Antwerp's history. In February 2003, when a horrendous jewelry crime was discovered: 123 out of 160 diamond deposits were emptied. It was found out that this crime took four rigid years of planning and analyzing everything from alarms, codes, security. Unfortunately, there's one thing they have not prepared for: the hapless traits of their members. It only took a single half-eaten sandwich left by one of the thieves to result in most of the members locked in jail.
10. Carlton Hotel, Cannes, 2013
Perhaps the Carlton Hotel in Cannes has some security upgrading to do. After 21 years, the place fell victim to one of the largest jewelry heists ever done by a single person. Yes, you heard it right. The crime was done solely by a man who entered the store threatening everyone with a pistol and eventually walking away with a suitcase holding jewelry amounting to roughly $136 million. The suspect, a Bosnian man named Milan Poparic, seem to be connected to the infamous Pink Panthers. All of these jewelry heists prove one thing: man wants jewelry, but a man just doesn't have enough money. But stealing is not justified by that; expensive jewelry pieces are worth their price.
We make sure we don't get into any jewelry heists, so we are offering precious jewelry pieces to you at a price you can afford. Plus, we offer huge discounts, too, so check out our gorgeous collection! Don't sit there waiting. Keep sparkling, darling!