Best Heists In History

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The word ‘heist’ comes from the term ‘hoist,’ actually. A heist is really not a lot different from plain old larceny or theft. But with a heist, there is a certain level of sensationalism…..the crime is so spectacular or involves so much money, it tends to garner attention. Some of the best heists in world history were unearthed for this list. Enjoy!

Hillbilly Heist – 1997

Total: $17 million

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In Charlotte, NC,  a Loomis Fargo vault supervisor grabbed $17 million and stuck it in a company van. He drove off with the money and left it with two coworkers. He then bailed for Mexico, where he intended to hide for a few months. His co-conspirators were to wire him the money (did they consider the trail that would leave behind? Guess not). But his fellow conspirators plotted to have the guy murdered! Meanwhile these two were blowing through millions of dollars in extravagant fashion in North Carolina. Nah, that won’t attract attention! Needless to say, they were all arrested and thrown in prison in less than one year.

The Iraq Central Bank “Heist” – 2003

Total: $1 Billion

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This actually was more of a massive checking account withdrawal than a real heist, but the total was the most in world history, thus its place on this list. Saddam Hussein decided in 2003, when things were getting squirrely, to have his son Qusay pull the money out of the bank. He left the country with a staggering $1 billion (in a billfold?). Sadly for him, he and his sicko brother had little time to enjoy the wealth of their nation. Both were blasted to smithereens by US special forces four months later. Still much of the money still is missing

Gardner Museum Heist – 1990

Total: $300 Million

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In Boston in 1990, two thieves dressed themselves as Boston police and somehow convinced guards at the Isabella Stewart Museum to let them into the building. An hour later, they were gone, with unfortunately for them, some extremely valuable paintings that are probably unsellable. One of them was Johan Vermeer’s The Concert, but the other was Rembrandt’s legendary The Storm on the Sea of Galilee. Neither of these paintings could ever be sold on the black market. They are simply too famous



The Heist of the Mona Lisa – 1911

Total: Priceless

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When the Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911, many people just visited the Louvre in Paris to see the empty spot where the painting had been for years.

The heist was very simple. An ex-employee stayed in the museum overnight and just walked out with the famous painting. Thousands of leads were pursued by authorities for over two years. Then the thief attempted to sell the painting in Florence. The dealer contacted the Uffizi Gallery to verify the painting. The man was arrested a few hours later.

Securitas Cash Depot Heist – 2006

Total: $101 Million

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In 2006, the Securitas cash depot manager in Tonbridge, England was stopped by two ‘cops’ as he was going home from his job. At that time, two more thugs dressed as cops were at his house, telling his family he was in an accident. They all went to a farmhouse and the family was told at gunpoint that they would be killed if they did not follow orders. A few hours later, the thieves left with over $101 million. They left behind the family and 14 employees. They were tied up but not hurt. They also left over $200 million behind because their truck could not hold another dollar. Five of them have been convicted, half of the money is still missing.

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