THE 10 MOST SUCCESSFUL BANK ROBBERIES IN HISTORY
According to the FBI, there were nearly 4,000 bank robberies and burglaries in the US last year alone. However, despite the frequency, it’s rare that would-be bandits make off with much more than a few thousand bucks before getting swiftly apprehended. Of course, there are exceptions.
Here are 10 instances in which a combination of cunning, brute force, and luck have resulted in some truly astonishing heists.
1. Banco Central Burglary
Fortaleza, Brazil; 2005
Stolen: $70 million
After renting a commercial property in the middle of the city and posing as landscapers, the gang behind this enormous heist spent three months digging a 256-foot tunnel to a position beneath the bank. Then, over a weekend in August, they tunneled up through reinforced concrete into the vault of the Banco Central branch and managed to remove 3.5 tons of Brazilian real notes, much of which has never been recovered.
2. Brink’s-MAT Robbery
Stolen: £26 million ($41 million)
On an early morning in November, six robbers made their way into the Brink’s-MAT warehouse at Heathrow Airport with help from a security guard who was in on the job. Their original plan involved taking just the £3 million in cash thought to be under lock and key, but that changed once they discovered an additional three tons of gold bullion and diamonds, significantly padding their planned payday. Several subsequent murders have been linked to the case, and while much of the gang involved has since been convicted, the gold has never been recovered.