More than just robbing the local bank, these ten biggest financial robberies resulted in the loss of millions of dollars in the form of cash, paintings, gold bullion and more. Most required some level of creativity and while some got away with the act, others were not as lucky.
1. 2003 – Central Bank of Iraq ($1 Billion)
Only a day before the US began the bombing of Baghdad, $1 billion in cash was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq. Boxes of $100 bills were loaded into trucks and removed from the premises.
2. 1990 – Boston Museum ($300 Million)
Men dressed as police officers entered the Boston Museum (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum) late in the evening after the traditional St. Patrick’s Day festivities had ended. The thieves came in and in less than 90 minutes took three Rembrandt paintings along with a few other pieces.
3. 1987 – Knightsbridge Security Deposit ($111 Million)
In 1987, two men pretending to want to rent a safe deposit box overtook guards once inside the vault. They let in other accomplices and then proceeded to break open boxes and remove the contents.
4. 2006 – Kent Securitas Depot ($92.5 Million)
After abducting the bank manager and his family members and restraining staff members on site, six men stole $92.5 million in bank notes. While no one was permanently harmed, the funds were never recovered.
5. 1963 – Great Train Robbery ($74 Million)
While the Great Train Robbery is impressive because of the amount of money taken for 1963, it is also important to note that it was committed without any guns. A fifteen member gang pulled it off only injuring one man in the process.
6. 2005 – Banco Central ($69.8 Million)
After creating a 255 foot tunnel, a group of intruders removed five containers of real notes that was uninsured. Ironically, the robbery was not noticed until the next day when the bank opened up for business. Only some of the robbers and a portion of the money were ever recovered.
7. 2004 – Northern Bank ($50 Million)
In December of 2004, a cash robbery took place at Northern Bank. Two bank officials and their families were held at gunpoint and both were sent to work the next day in order to let the robbers in at the end of the day.
8. 1983 – Brinks Mat ($45 Million)
In 1983, six robbers broke into a warehouse at Heathrow Airport. While they originally came in to take cash, they ended up finding gold bullion that was worth much more than the cash.
9. 1997 – Dunbar Armored ($18.9 Million)
As a safety inspector for Dunbar, Allen Pace knew just what he needed to do to walk away with $18.9 million. He took time to come up with a plan based on his experience with the company and the location. In less than an hour, the money had been loaded up on a U-Haul and was taken away.
10. 1978 – Lufthansa ($5.8 Million)
40 parcels of cash were removed from a room within the airport that housed money used for exchange purposes. The mastermind, Jimmy Burke, has links to crime families and was looking for an easy score. The men stole cash as well as jewelry.
About the author: Edwin Miles has over 10 years experience in the financial markets. He works with CarFinance247 in the UK and writes regularly for a wide range of financial and automotive sites.
Featured Image cash picture credit: Iain Browne