“Diamonds are easier to trace than wine,” says Jason Hernandez, a former U.S. attorney who prosecuted one of the largest wine counterfeiting cases in 2013. “Even if you’re looking at something like a 1982 Château Lafite,” he says, referring to what oenophiles consider one of the best wines in the world from one of the best years, “they made 20,000 cases of that wine. How do you tell one bottle from the next?”
Conveniently, LEGO® vines growing on the outside of the museum provide handgrips the thieves can use in climbing up to the skylight.[more inside]
An audacious museum heist, in which a timepiece made for Marie Antoinette was among a haul worth hundreds of millions of pounds, left police clutching at thin air. It was only when the watch turned up 25 years later that the pieces of the jigsaw began to fall into place. - Marie Antoinette : the queen, her watch and the master burglar
Pitch Black Heist. A short film directed by John Maclean and starring Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham as two safe crackers who have to open a safe in a pitch black room.
In a meticulously planned raid that took barely five minutes to execute, armed men disguised as police officers drove onto the tarmac at the international airport in Brussels on Monday night and stole diamonds worth around $50 million as they were being loaded onto a plane bound for Switzerland, officials said. (SLNYT)
About a month ago we learned in the blue that a large amount of maple syrup had been stolen from a Quebec warehouse. Yesterday, the RCMP seized a large amount of maple syrup from an export company in New Brunswick. The export company's owner claims that he purchased the syrup from one of his regular suppliers. The recovered syrup was escorted to parts unknown in Quebec by provincial police cars. As the Chicago Tribune notes, "Plot thickens as Quebec police seize cache of maple syrup" ...
Last week, authorities discovered over 10 million pounds of maple syrup (1/4 of provincial reserves) missing from a Quebec warehouse. It is valued at over $30 million dollars.
One crime had been solved — but the chest of gold stolen from Patty Kingston's closet remained a mystery. The deputy heard the Brown boys knew who stole the gold — but suddenly, without explanation, they and everyone in the clan clammed up. [more inside]
In February 2006, a group of criminals pulled off the biggest cash heist in the history of the UK, making off with £53 million pounds. To date, only £23 million of the money has been recovered. Police are understandably upset about the dead ends in the case.
After hearing of a recent heist in which a bandit wearing a motorcycle helmet robbed the Bellagio of $1.5 million in chips (the 10th Vegas casino robbery this year), I remembered the scene from Ocean's 11 where Reuben expounds upon why it is nigh impossible to steal from a Las Vegas casino. But that simply isn't true. Granted, no one has infiltrated a casino for a massive $160 million haul, but sizable losses have occurred over the years: 18 Casino Heists: The Strange, The Surgical, and The Stupid; 5 Most Famous Casino Heists in History, Top 10: Epic Las Vegas Heists; 13 Real Heists from Around the World (there is duplication of mentioned events on these sites, as well as non-casino-related crimes). Casino Security (Wiki) may be high tech (Google .pdf quickview), but it's not unbeatable (Casino insider tells (almost) all about security). Of course, there are other ways to steal from a casino, but you might still get caught. And it's hard to find much lore about successful robberies, mostly because casinos don't want that kind of publicity. [more inside]
HEIST: Paintings by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani and Fernand Léger, worth ~$100 million, stolen! (Washington Post link) [more inside]
Twenty years ago tonight, thieves posing as Boston police talked their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and left with thirteen works of art now valued at half a billion dollars, including a Vermeer and three Rembrandts. Neither those responsible for history's greatest art theft, nor the missing works of art, have ever been located. (Previously, including a comment from a MeFite who had been working security at the musuem, but not that night.)
Back in 2002, 4 interns pulled off an unusual heist: they stole a quarter tonne of moon rocks under NASA's nose, which reads like a surreal pulp. [via jwz] [more inside]
Theives bypassed all security systems by simply posing as the security company on the phone These days as a robber dealing with high-tech security systems it seems that it's not about being a hacker or having loads of money to pull off a heist, its about making a phone call, having bear spray, and waiting for a guard to go on smoke break. [more inside]
"It's not the robbery that separates the amateur from the professional. It's the way you deal with the money afterwards." A fascinating analysis of the Tonbridge heist.
Three out of four middle-managers are theives. Derren Brown, psycho-illusionist, gives a business-motivational seminar. Or so it seems. Really, he's using techniques of suggestion to 'program' his marks so that when presented with the opportunity (and a toy gun) they will commit armed robbery. Not everyone thinks its funny. Less grisly than his previous stunts. Nifty flash website he's got.