Inspired by greed for money and power along with ingenuity, all great heists that have taken place in the world share one thing in common, a daring audacity of the criminal that enabled them to crack the most sophisticated and fool-proof security systems and make off with large amount of money and jewels. Moreover, when it comes to sheer planning, creativity and lunacy that go into them, few crimes can be termed as out rightly astounding.
Nonetheless, considering the colorful characters and criminal masterminds behind these heists, it’s not difficult to understand as to why they remain a constant subjection of fascination and even inspiration for some.
Here is a collection of some of the most shocking heists that have taken place.
5. Antwerp Diamond Heist
For years Antwerp Diamond Centre was considered a safe place for diamonds because of its security arrangements until in 2003, thieves pilfered 123 of the most secure vaults, and were able to get away with an estimated 65 million pounds of diamonds and gems. However, that’s not all what they got away with. In a smarter heist move, they also snatched documents that affirmed the authenticity of the gems. Along with this all those gems which were easily traceable were intentionally left behind. All without raising any alarm.
4. Stardust Heist
One of the most famous heists of all time is the 1992 robbery that took place at the Stardust Resort and Casino. The then-cashier of the casino Bill Brennan one afternoon walked past security guards at the start of his lunch break with more than $500,000 of cash and chips in his backpack. Brennan got away with the heist and despite being on FBI’s most wanted list there is no clue about the whereabouts of this guy. The film Ocean Eleven was based on this heist.
3. Agricultural Bank of China
The 2007 Agricultural Bank of China robbery that resulted in the theft of 51 million Yuan is considered as the biggest robbery in Chinese history. The scheme started with bank manager, Ren Xiaofeng, stole 200,000 Yuan from the bank vault. His intent was to buy lottery tickets from the money and win a jackpot before the money is reported missing. Amazingly, his plan worked. He was able to make big and with the huge profit he was easily able to return the money. But the story did not end here. With the help of another manager he stole 33 million Yuan next year and then another 18 million. All this money was yet again squandered on buying lottery tickets. However, this time their gamble did not prove as per expectations and both of them were arrested.
2. Bernie Madoff and Ponzi Scheme
The Bernie Madoff investment scandal that broke in the year 2008 resulted in a scam of estimated $50 billion. Questions regarding his firm had been raised as early as 1999, but even at the time of his arrest his firm was the sixth-largest in the country. Even though he was running a fraudulent investment from the very beginning, he was able to fool all other players in the hedge fund industry. In 1992 Madoff was termed as the bane of New York Stock Exchange.
1. Bull Semen Heist
Not all heists or scams are done for the sake of money or jewels. In some cases, people go to great lengths get their hands on things other would not even prefer thinking in their dreams. One such unique case took place in Maryland farm where in 2005 the semen of nearly 50 bulls was stolen from the farm of Eric Fleming. The quantity of semen can be estimated from the fact that it had a monetary value of $75,000. Fleming even offered a reward for the return of semen, but no one wanted to claim responsibility of doing such a disgusting crime.