It’s difficult to explain our fascination with the greatest robberies in history. The daring and cunning of gentlemen thieves committing the perfect crime are easy to admire, but most gangs use brute force, guns and terror as their weapons. They often beat witnesses and shoot security guards, so it’s difficult to sympathise with their cause. No one seems to spare a thought for the victims either, although perhaps it’s because they’re believed to be rich enough to afford the loss.
In this new ebook, author Liam McCann looks at a dozen high-profile jewellery heists that are even more incredible than those portrayed in the movies. The Carlton Hotel heists, Graff Jewellers raids and Antwerp diamond robbery were all meticulously planned and executed, and many of the perpetrators remain at large. And there are plenty of thieves willing to wait for years before going for big cash scores, such as Dan Cooper’s outrageous skyjacking, the team behind the Securitas Depot robbery and the Northern Bank heist. Some thieves even get more than they bargained for: the gang that carried out the Brink’s-MAT robbery at London’s Heathrow Airport in 1983, for example, were expecting to find around £2 million in cash in the warehouse, but they ended up escaping with £26 million in gold bullion.
Here are 30 robberies worthy of a Hollywood script. Some of the thieves have been caught, others have escaped with the loot.