There have been several robberies throughout history that can even amaze a Hollywood crime genre fan to the core due to their shear amount of boldness and strategy. Here today we have compiled a list of the most intriguing robberies ever attempted to highlight some really interesting ones:
10. Claude Du Val Robberies
A Frenchmen, Claude Du Val became one of the most famous highwaymen in England during his time, he was written about extensively and was the talk of the town in numerous places. What set Claude apart from other highwaymen in that era was his gentlemanly demeanor and his proper clothing. He was always impeccably groomed; he was often seen wearing attire that was trademark of England’s higher society. It is also recorded that he did not resort to violence when he carried out his robberies.
According to sources, Claude was a very popular with women, with many wooed by his charm and wit. After he was captured and before his eventful execution, it is said that scores of women protested against his incarceration and worked towards him being issued a pardon.
Probably one of the most intriguing stories of his robberies was told by none other than William Pope, this was released after his execution. It is said that once Claude was robbing a local coach, the coach belonged nobleman and a wife. The lady, determined to seem scared took out a flageolet and started playing. When Claude saw this, he took out his own flageolet and began dancing with the women in question. After they were done, Claude Du Val asked the nobleman for four hundred pounds because according to Claude, he had failed to pay for the musical performance.
9. Mona Lisa Robbery
The priceless masterpiece of Leonardo Da Vinci has on many occasions been stolen, but few robberies of the famous painting compare to the one pulled off my Vincenzo Peruggia.
Peruggia was an employee at the famous Louvre in Paris, one night he stationed himself in one of the closets and spent the night there. The next day, Peruggia emerged from his hiding place and walked out with the Mona Lisa. What is intriguing about the ordeal is that he pulled off the robbery without much forethought or meticulous planning.
It is said that he simply waltzed out of the Louvre carrying the painting, an investigation into the matter revealed that the guards appointed to watch the famous painting, were on a water break. Peruggia very easily cleared the guard’s station and simply exited the Louvre through the front door; he managed to pull all this off without arising suspicion. France was in turmoil after the Mona Lisa was stolen, with many conspiracy theories arising. One of the most interesting ones was the allegation that Pablo Picasso was the one behind the theft of Da Vinci’s masterpiece.
However, many years later Peruggia offered to return the painting to a local art dealer in the city of Florence. He demanded compensation for his act, but understandably he was turned in to the authorities. Strangely enough he was treated as a hero by the people of Italy, spending less than a year in jail. After it was paraded in different towns in Italy, the painting was returned to the famous Louvre in Paris, France.
8. Banco Itaú Burglary
In August 2011, twelve men disguised as furnishing workers entered one of the biggest banks in Brazil. The Banco Central Bank was at the time being renovated on different levels, the group of twelve men took advantage of this by posing as labourers.
The guards, who were already warned of furnishing workers coming to the Bank at night, had little reason to check up on the men. Hence, in the next twelve hours without shooting a single bullet, the twelve men looted the many safety deposit boxes of the Banks. These strongboxes were reported to be owned by 120 of the most influential business moguls in the country.
With a few men stationed outside to monitor the situation in case the burglars had to escape, the Heist was carried out methodically all night. The next day, the twelve men retreated with about a hundred million dollars in stolen goods, these included jewelry, vintage watches and gold bars (among other things).
However, what makes this matter even more jaw dropping is that no official investigation was started into this matter immediately. The fact that police only started investigating a week adds fuel to the suspicion that this heist was an inside job.
It is also suspected that the mastermind behind the Banco Itau robbery and the Banco Central burglary at Fortaleza (one of the largest robberies in the world) might be same.
7. The Beach Thefts
Don’t let the title fool you, the beach thefts don’t involve someone stealing a beach ball, or nicking some sun cream. The beach thefts involve thieves stealing container worth of sands from the Beach, seem unbelievable? It actually happened in Jamaica.
The illegal trade of sand is a profitable trade in Jamaica, with the market for the supply of sand booming. But the robbery that was carried out in 2008 is wholly unique; this is due to the sheer amount of sand that was stolen from the beach. A group of robbers, who were never caught even though the police carried out a thorough investigation, fled with 500 lorry loads of sand.
The trade is incredibly profitable because construction uses large amounts of sand; to add to this a hotel with a Beach nearby is considered a tourist hub. So one can only imagine the kind of profits that were amassed by the bandits, after fleeing with Lorries full of sand.
Things got so grave after the sand robberies, that opposition parties blamed the government for covering up the thefts. The matter of the Beach sand thefts is still a mystery to this day.
6. Gardner Museum Art Thefts
The Gardner museum thefts are popular for their sheer simplicity, the stolen artwork is to this day has not been recovered. In 1990, a group of men posed as Boston Police officers entered the premises of the Museum, managing to convince a guard that they were actual police officers.
While in the Gardner Museum, they tricked the guard by telling him that they had a warrant for his arrest. The men told him to bring another security personal who would watch over the security desk in their place, the guard complied. The group of men then tied the two guards to pipes situated at the basement of the museum, their legs were tied together and duct tape was put on their mouths. The two security officials were placed forty feet apart, and to think all of this could have been avoided if the guard on duty would have just followed protocol.
Thirteen pieces of art were stolen by the group of men, including Vermeer’s The Concert. The next morning a security officer discovered the two tied up guards, the three then notified police but by that time the thieves had already escaped into the night.
5. Craigslist Bank Robbery
In the year 2008 a man from the small town of Monroe, Wash pulled the most unique robbery in recent times. The man, according to eye witness reports was wearing along blue full sleeved T-Shirt, with sunglasses and a light blue baseball cap. He robbed an armour truck parked outside the branch of the Bank of America.
He first sprayed the van driver with pepper spray, stealing the bag of money from his hand and fleeing the scene. The van driver received medical attention at the scene once the police arrived two minutes later, but their efforts proved futile as they were unable to catch the thief. It is reported that he escaped by jumping into a nearby creek while using an inner tube, his accomplices were waiting on the other end with a motor vehicle, the group then managed to escape.
What makes this robbery so strange is that the man posted an ad on craigslist to hire road maintenance workers. At $28.50 dollars an hour, they were told to dress in yellow jumpsuits, blue shirts with surgical masks covering their faces. Furthermore, they were told to gather near the branch of the Bank of America. Unbeknownst to them they were accomplices to a robbery, while the police were questioning them the real robber managed to escape. The workers were used an ingenious ploy in order to create a diversion while the real robber managed to escape.