Robbery is the crime of stealing from somewhere or from someone. Knowing that, it deprives a person of his/her possessions most commonly by means of force or fear. The never ending number of small thefts and larcenies is increasing daily and it doesn’t seem to be ending in the near future. There are those cases in which people do this unlawful act in order to survive but it is not the case with these mass robberies. These were some of the best planned thefts of all time.
9. US$5.8 million; 1978 Kennedy Airport / Lufthansa
It all began when Jimmy Burke, the protagonist of this real story, heard from his associate about millions of dollars in untraceable money. Planned by Jimmy Burke, the Lufthansa Heist was one of the biggest robberies of its time. It was carried out with the help of his associates and the Lucchese crime family. It was carried out on December 11th, at exactly 3.12 a.m. What made this particular robbery stand out was the fact that they captured some airport employees forcing them to help in the robbery. 5.8 million dollars and $875,000 in jewels were stolen! While serving his sentence in Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, Burk got long cancer and died at the age of 64.
8. US $18.9 million; 1997 Dunbar Armored / USA
On September the 13th 1997, masterminded by Allen Pace (a regional safety inspector) and a few of his friends the biggest robbery to have occurred in the US was carried out. One of the gangsters Eugene Lamar Hill made a terrible mistake by giving his associate money still in the original cash stamps, who reported it to the police. Aside with Eugene L.H Allen Pace was arrested and sentenced to 24 years imprisonment.
7. US $45 million; 1983 Brinks Mat warehouse / England
The Brinks Mat Robbery took place November 26th 1983. Six robbers broke into the Brinks Mat warehouse at Heathrow Airport, England. The robbers wanted to steal £3 million in cash but instead they took ten tones of gold bullion, worth £26 million. Isn’t that convenient? Robinson and gang leader Michael McAvoy were sentenced to 25 years imprisonment, each, for armed robbery.
6. US $50 million; 2004 Northern Bank / Northern Ireland
On December the 20th 2004, the largest bank robbery in British history was carried out. The robbers took £26.5 million in pounds sterling. Provisional IRA was held responsible, denying the claims.
5 .US $69.8 million; 2005 Banco Central / Brazil
On the weekend of August 6th and August 7th, 2005, burglars tunneled their way into the Banco Central in Fortaleza. They were suspected to be either the Gang of the Tattooed or Primeiro Comando da Capital. They removed five containers of 50-real notes. Their value was estimated to have been $69.8 million.
4. US $74 million; 1963 Great Train Robbery / England
It was committed on the August 8th 1963 at Bridego Railway Bridge, near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England by Bruce Reynolds and his gang. They stopped the train by tampered signals and stole US $74 million.
3. US $92.5 million; 2006 Kent Securitas Depot / England
This robbery took place on the February 22nd 2006, between 01:00 and 02:15 UTC. At least six men, English and North African, abducted and threatened the family of the manager and tied up fourteen staff members. Emir Hysenaj was sentenced to 20 years. Stuart Royle, Lea Rusha, Jetmir Bucpapa and Roger Coutts were given life sentences but have to serve a minimum of 15 years.
2. US $111 million; 1987 Knightsbridge Security Deposit / England
On July the 12th 1987 in Knightsbridge, the Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery took place. Two men entered the bank requesting to rent a safe deposit box, and then they produced their guns putting a sign on the door telling that the bank was closed. On the crime scene fingerprints from Valerio Viccei were found and he was convicted of the crimes.
1.US $1 billion; 2003 Central Bank of Iraq / Iraq
The biggest stick up of the century was carried out by Saddam Hussein and his sons. It happened on the March 18, the day before the United States began bombing Baghdad. They stole as much as US $1 billion. $650 million was found hidden in walls in Saddam Hussein’s palace by US troops. The rest of the money is unaccounted for.