World’s Greatest Robberies

World’s Greatest Robberies

The World’s Greatest Robberies

Even the most precious items in the world are at threat if there isn’t enough security and when someone wants something bad enough, they will find a way. The following are a few times when people found the weak links and got away with it – at least for a little while!

Stealing the Mona Lisa



Everyone knows about the Mona Lisa. Perhaps just as well-known is her disappearance in 1911. After centuries in France, the space she occupied was found bare in August of 1911, shaking France to the core. After months of searching and fears that the Mona Lisa was destroyed, she was finally found in the hands of a man named Vincenzo Perugia, who was trying to sell the piece in Italy. With such minimal security, the theft could have easily been prevented with a simple Perspex display cabinet with lock. Thankfully, she now sits back in France for all to see, except with much better security!

The Great Escape



So famous it even has a movie about it, the Great Train Robbery of 1963 saw a gang of 15 men, led by Bruce Reynolds, rob a train in Buckinghamshire, England, for £2.6 million – without the use of guns. While the men were caught, much of the money was not found. The whole thing could have been stopped by a simple padlock on the signal box, which was integral to the robbery.

Kent Securitas Depot


Another more recent event, the Securitas depot robbery of 2006 involved a group of men who stole the largest amount of cash in British history. After taking the manager and his family hostage, the men threatened the manager to cooperate by putting his family in danger. They stole over £53 million. Moral of the story? Don’t have a family!

Banco Central in Brazil


The early 2000s saw a lot of great robberies around the world, including the theft of a Brazil bank. Over a number of months, a gang of burglars tunnelled almost 80 metres underground to reach the bank and remove the money. Some of the men and money have since been found but much still remains missing. Perhaps the bank should have installed termite mesh to keep the pests out?

Drumlanrig Castle Robbery


As one of the greatest artists in history, it probably comes as no surprise that the theft of a Da Vinci masterpiece makes it into the greatest robberies a second time. In fact, in 2003, a solicitor with four other men were believed to be the culprits behind the theft of the Madonna of the Yarnwinder piece, which once stood proud in Drumlanrig Castle, owned by the Duke of Buccleuch. The men threatened to destroy the piece if the duke didn’t pay up £4.5 million. In order to get the painting in the first place, the accused men brandished axes and threatened to kill a tour guide. Maybe axes should be banned in Scotland in the future?

Antwerp Diamond Heist


This is perhaps one of the most impressive heists of all time. Also in 2003, the theft involved several men with different skills to help bypass the many security measures of the Antwerp Diamond Centre. The men got away with an estimated €18 million of gems. The gang were eventually caught but the diamonds are still missing today. What could they have done to stop them? Nothing. The place was near impenetrable. It was protected by 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor and a lock with 100 million possible combinations.

Have some precious items in your house or office that need protecting? Although it may not house million dollar paintings or rare gems, your home is your castle and it is important to safeguard your belongings. With Amalgamated Locksmiths, you don’t need to join the list of greatest robberies!