Thursday, February 7, 2013

Top 5 Largest #Diamond Heists (Guest Post).

Who doesn’t love a good diamond heist movie? If you’re to believe what you see on the big screen, all you need is a little cunning and the help of George Clooney to get away with the swag. Diamond heists are actually exceptionally difficult to pull off, but they do happen more frequently than you might think. A diamond heist takes very careful planning over a number of years and instantly turns thieves from rags to riches. The diamonds are also almost never found again.

Here are some of the most infamous diamond heists ever made:

The Carlton Hotel, France

How much was stolen: $60 million

You know a hotel is fancy when it has its own jewellery shop. In 1994, three masked men entered the building, firing off their guns. The fancy customers started panicking and fled the scene whilst the men intimidated employees into coughing up $60 million in jewels. These jewellery thieves were one of the lucky ones, and they managed to escape with their loot, never to be seen again. When the police investigated the crime scene, they realised that the thieves had been firing blanks – which just goes to show that thieves have consciences too.

The Museon Museum of Science, The Hague

How much was stolen: $12 million

This diamond heist was exceptionally mysterious. In 2002, the Museon was putting on a diamond exhibition with royal pieces on display. Other collectors and Museums had contributed pieces to help educate the public about historic gems. Police assume that the most valuable diamonds were stolen on Sunday night or Monday morning because no-one noticed the diamonds had disappeared for at least a day, due to the fact that the museum is closed on Mondays. When employees returned to work on Tuesday, six of the 28 exhibits had vanished.

And nobody knows what happened. The video footage showed nothing; the guards didn’t see a thing; the motion sensors weren’t triggered. Even the display cases showed no signs of having been tampered with. The only evidence that anyone had been there was a pane of smashed glass going into the museum. One of the diamonds to have been stolen was a wedding gift from King William III to Queen Mary II of England in the 1600s and it’s unlikely to be found again.

ABN Amro Bank, Antwerp Belgium

How much was stolen: $28 million

No-one knows the name of this enigmatic man. To the employees at the ABN Amro Bank, he was known as Carlos Hector Flomenbaum. Famed for being a fantastic businessman, he quickly grew a reputation for being lovable. He’d turn up to work with boxes of chocolates and talk to the staff about their personal life, until he gained the trust of every banker there – so much so, that they offered him VIP access to the vault. In the end, Carlos was able to walk in and out again with 120,000 carats of diamonds.

The Damiani Showroom in Milan, Italy

How much was stolen: $20 million

A woman was complaining to the authorities that there was an early-morning noise preventing her from getting her beauty sleep. Unfortunately for the police, there was a construction project nearby, so they paid no notice. It turned out that thieves were drilling a hole through the 4 foot wall which led to the diamond showroom. Dressed as policemen, the thieves pounced on employees and forced them to unlock the safes.

Harry Winston Store, Paris, France

How much was stolen: $107 million

Gunslinging thieves entered the Harry Winston store in 2008. These guys had dressed up as women to slip under the radar and made off with $107 million’s worth of diamonds, completely scott-free.

About the author:
This post was written by Gail Newland, a miscellaneous blogger on behalf of Pearl & Butler
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