In today’s technology-laden society, robbery is most often committed through a computer and a network other than with a rifle. Electronic transfer of funds has replaced bags of cash, but one thing has remained the same—greed. Yet throughout history, some incredible heists and robberies have taken place – and some remain unsolved:
- The Antwerp Diamond Heist—A group of middle-aged burglars turned out be some of the best pros in the robbery business. Seven men, led by Leonardo Notarbartolo, planned to rob the Antwerp Diamond Center in Belgium on February 16th, 2003. As the legend goes, the robbery was planned for three years prior to the actual heist. The gang pulled off a $100 million diamond heist despite the multiple layers of security. The men bypassed a magnetic field, infrared sensors, a Doppler radar and a seismic sensor in order to gain access to the vault, which was considered “impregnable.” Like most burglars, the group made one fatal mistake; they left receipts for some of the gear used in the heist along with a sandwich with Notarbartolo’s DNA in a farmer’s garbage. The farmer, having heard of the heist, called the police. Notarbartolo was convicted of the Antwerp Diamond Heist in 2003, but the diamonds were never found.
- The Graff Diamonds Robbery—In August of 2009, two men who posed as customers, entered the Graff Diamond store in London, stealing diamond jewelry worth nearly $65 million. The robbers were artfully disguised, using latex prosthetics. The robbers were eventually caught, but the diamonds were never recovered.
- The Carlton Hotel Robbery— In the French resort city of Cannes, the setting for the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie, “To Catch a Thief,” three robbers entered the Carlton Hotel in 1994, brandishing machine guns. The robbers made off with about $50 million in jewels, and were never seen again. It was later found the machine guns were loaded with blanks.
- The Northern Bank Robbery in Belfast, Ireland—Prior to the crime, two Northern bank officials were visited by burglars acting as policemen. The robbers held both families hostage in order to gain access to the bank. The bank lost more than $50 million in the robbery and the case remains unsolved.
- Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Madonna, was stolen in 2003 from the Drumlanrig Castle in Scotland. The robbery was pulled off, using nothing more than an ax. The painting was valued at $40 million, and was just recently recovered.
- The Dunbar Armored Facility Robbery—In what is, perhaps, the largest cash robbery in the U.S., an employee of the Dunbar Armored car facility in Los Angeles made off with $18 million. Allen Pace and another employee were eventually caught; Pace was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
- The Brussels Airport Diamond Heist—In 2013, eight robbers stole $50 million in diamonds from the Brussels Airport. The robbers were disguised as police officers, and loaded 130 bags of diamonds in under twenty minutes. While thirty suspects were eventually rounded up, few of the diamonds were recovered.
- In December, 2008, the Harry Winston jewelry heist occurred. Four men, three of them dressed like women, entered the store, removed their wigs and robbed the store of nearly its entire stock. Approximately $112.7 million in diamond rings, necklaces and watches were taken, making it one of the largest jewelry hauls ever.
- The Dialite Diamond Heist took place on New Year’s Even in 2008 in New York City’s Diamond district. The robbers, disguised as Orthodox Jewish men, walked into Dialite Imports, and left with over $4 million in diamonds. It was later found the burglary was an inside job, set up by the owners to collect the insurance money.
- The Knightsbridge Security Deposit Robbery—Valerio Viccei, a famous criminal in Italy, moved to the United Kingdom in order to target the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit with an accomplice. On July 27, 1987, Viccei and his companions subdued the manager and employees and closed the bank. Viccei walked out with sixty million pounds and would not have been caught if he had not returned to retrieve his Ferrari.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Boulder, you need to hire an experienced and skilled Boulder criminal defense lawyer immediately. Robbery and burglary are very serious criminal offenses and they should not be taken lightly. You could serve time in prison for your crime without the right defense! Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.