Throughout history there have been some notable robbers and thieves that have made a name for themselves for pulling off incredible heists against staggering odds and incredible security. It’s hard not to admire these people for the tenacity and planning that goes into such notable feats. Ultimately both the robber and the bank are playing the same game but simply for different sides; there’s not as much difference between the two as people would like to believe. Here we’ll look at some notable heists throughout history and exactly what makes them so special and memorable. Ultimately it’s these faults in security that are responsible for developing the near impenetrable systems we have in place today.
This is an interesting tale that sounds like something straight out of a Bond flick. D.B. Cooper is the alias used by an unidentified man who hijacked an airplane in 1971. While this might not be a typical ‘heist’ story it has the clever planning and cool execution to make it onto this list. He took control of the plane with a bomb (though it has never been identified if the bomb was real) at which point he landed in Seattle, demanded $200,000 and parachutes and then proceeded to release the passengers and take off with the minimally crewed plane once again. Once in the air, D.B. Cooper jumped from the plane into forested terrain and was never found along with the stolen money. Cooper was described as calm, polite, and well spoken. He is to date the only perpetrator of an unsolved air piracy raid. In 1972, there were 15 attempts to replicate his plan. All of them were unsuccessful.
Banco Central Heist
This is said to be the biggest bank heist in history and takes place in Fortaleza, Brasil. A gang of professional robbers rented a house near the bank and proceeded to tunnel 250 feet to the vault. The robbers managed to disable the alarms and break into the bank over the weekend and make off with over $70 million weighing about 3.5 tons. The bank didn’t even know the money was gone until they opened on monday. Since then 5 men have been arrested but only 9 million of the 70 recovered.
Gardner Museum Art Heist
In 1990 two men dressed as policemen were able to enter the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and make off with over $500 million in art and artifacts. This heist is rather simple for the profit. The faux-policemen were actually discovered by the guards but they proceeded to overpower them and tie them up in the basement. Then, the surveillance was tampered with and security disabled. To this day the thieves have not been arrested and the artwork and artifacts not recovered. Despite it’s simplicity this is one of the largest unresolved heists in history.
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