Heists and robberies are stains upon the frame of our history and current society. However, as bad as these actions may be, they still seem to have an attraction to some people. Maybe it’s the fact that a person is doing something which society frowns upon? Or maybe it’s truly about the cash, jewels, gold, etc. Whatever the reason may be, some heists have gone down in history as some of the most spectacular displays of criminal activity ever. From the Garden Museum Heist to the Harry Winston heist these are 25 most ambitious heists and robberies in history.
The Brussels Airport Diamond Heist
On February 18, 2013, eight masked gunmen robbed a Switzerland-bound plane containing around $50 million in diamonds, property of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre. The team used two vehicles with police markings to approach the plane where the gems were being transferred from a Brink’s armored van. The whole job took about 20 minutes, and the thieves took about 130 bags of gems.
The Sonali Bank Heist
On January 26, 2014, a Sonali Bank branch in Kishoreganj was robbed of 169 million Bangladeshi taka after two men tunneled their way into the vault from an abandoned room of a neighboring house. Unfortunately for the robbers, the Hollywood-style heist didn’t have a happy ending even though it was almost perfectly executed: the mastermind behind the biggest bank robbery in Bangladesh history was eventually arrested.
The British Bank of the Middle East Robbery
On January 20, 1976, a group associated with Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) exploited the chaos of the country’s civil war and broke into the British Bank of the Middle East in Beirut. The robbers blasted through a wall which the bank shared with a Catholic church then cracked the bank’s vault and plundered its contents (anywhere from $20 million to $50 million in gold bars, Lebanese and foreign currency, stocks and jewels). Today the loot is valued at more than three times what it was worth in 1976.
The 1798 Bank of Pennsylvania Heist
Known as America’s first bank robbery, the 1798 Bank of Pennsylvania heist occurred in the predawn hours of September 1, 1798. $162,821 was stolen from the bank, which may not seem like much, but back then, that was a lot of money.
The Chelembra Bank Robbery
The Chelembra Bank robbery in Kerala, India is considered one of the biggest bank robberies in Indian history. In the early hours of December 30, 2007, the robbers made a hole in the floor of the Bank of Kerala and got away with eighty kilograms of gold and five million rupees, a total value of eighty million rupees. The culprits were arrested two months later.