Some of us have thought of a quick way to get wealthy. Pulling off a great heist are some of the thoughts that fly through our minds. Most of us don’t let it get past through the thought phase. Few, however, have tried it and managed to get away with millions of dollars. Below are the some of the biggest robberies of the 20th Century.
1) United California Bank Ltd Robbery – USA
This robbery occurred on 24 March 1972, and the robbers managed to make away with an estimated heist of 30 million dollars. It was a world record at the time, and by today’s standard and inflation, this could be worth about 170 million dollars today.
Amil Dinsio and other six men broke into a United California Bank branch in Laguna, Niguel. The gang entered the roof by blasting a hole through the reinforced concrete roof. They robbed the banks safe deposit vault. Due to the undeclared contents in the deposit boxes, their total value is only estimated. They were arrested by the FBI when they tried to rob another bank, and most of the stolen valuables were recovered.
2) British Bank of The middle East Robbery.
This robbery took place on 20th January 1976 in Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanon was experiencing a civil war and a group aligned to PLO terrorist group was breaking into banks. Their largest robbery was at British Bank of The Middle East. The group gained entry to the bank by blasting through a wall of the bank shared with a Catholic church. They had locksmiths who opened the vault and stole valuables over a duration of 2 days. The group made away with gold, stocks, jewelry, and currency worth 35 million dollars (25 million pounds) equivalent to around 150 million dollars today.
3) Knightsbridge Security Deposit Robbery.
This robbery took place on 12th July 1987. This robbery was masterminded by Valerio Viccei, an Italian immigrant to the UK. He was wanted in Italy for a string of armed robberies.On the day of the robbery, accompanied by an accomplice, they went to the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre pretending they wanted to rent a deposit box. Upon reaching the vault, they overcame the manager and the guards. They hung a sign saying the deposit center was temporarily closed to prevent more customers coming in. They then let in more of their accomplices and proceeded t plunder the safety deposit boxes. They stole an approximate 60 million pounds, worth around 200 million dollars in current value. The police responded an hour after the robbery, and by then the group had fled. The other gang members were arrested, but Valerio disappeared to Latin America but was apprehended when he came back for his Ferrari. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.
4) City Bonds Robbery
This robbery took place on 2nd May 1990 in London Uk. A 58-year-old messenger, John Goddard, was mugged as he carried a briefcase with bearer bond worth 292 million pounds. He was delivering the treasury bills from building societies and banks. These bonds
are valuable as cash and whoever is holding them is considered the owner.Goddard was mugged at knifepoint and the robber stole the 301 bills, most of them each valued at 1 million pounds. All the bills were recovered except only two. A man, Keith Cheeseman, was arrested and sentenced to 6 and half years in prison for the crime.
5) The Great Train Robbery.
This robbery took place on 8th August 1963. 2.6 Million pounds was stolen from the Royal mail train traveling to London from Glasgow. It was carried by a gang of 15 members who tampered with the train stop signs making the train to stop at an unscheduled point. The gang then boarded the train. They did not use any gun, but they hit the train driver with a crowbar. They opened the high-value packages carriage which had the money and transferred it to their waiting truck. They managed to make away with around 2.6 million pounds equivalent to around 50 million pounds today. The gang hid in a barn at a farmhouse playing a game of monopoly. They escaped but were eventually captured by the fingerprints and evidence they left at the barn.
The above listed are some of the greatest robberies to take place in the 20th century. There are some worth entioning likee the D. B. Cooper heist, Brinks truck robbery of 1981, Lloyd Banks safety deposit box heist of 1971, and Bank of America robbery 1976.