The most notorious modern-day jewelry heists

Written by Alex Stambaugh, CNN

Tales of criminal masterminds swindling away diamonds, rubies along with emeralds in elaborate robberies have captured Hollywood’s imagination for decades. nevertheless of which week, a raid on a castle vault in Germany has reminded us of which real-life jewelry heists are an unfortunate reality.

from the early hours of Monday morning, around 100 priceless treasures were removed coming from Dresden’s Green Vault, one of Europe’s largest collections of masterpieces. The thieves are believed to have accessed the museum by cutting through a grille along with breaking a window.

Within minutes, two suspects were seen moving through the gallery with flashlights, before smashing a display case along with fleeing with priceless jewels containing diamonds, pearls along with rubies.

of which may not have been history’s most sophisticated operation, nevertheless the Green Vault robbers join a long list of thieves creating off with millions of dollars’ worth of precious jewels. Here are some of recent history’s most notorious heists.

Swedish royal jewels stolen

Collection of Swedish Crown jewels of which were stolen coming from a cathedral, in a daring daytime heist. The thieves smashed glass show cases along with snatched 17th-century royal treasures.

Collection of Swedish Crown jewels of which were stolen coming from a cathedral, in a daring daytime heist. The thieves smashed glass show cases along with snatched 17th-century royal treasures. Credit: Swedish Police via AP

In July 2018, thieves stole several precious royal artifacts coming from a Swedish church before escaping by speedboat.

Items once belonging to Swedish monarch Karl IX along with his wife Kristina, including a golden orb adorned that has a crucifix along with two crowns, were taken coming from a cathedral west of Stockholm. The items date back to the early 17th century.

At the time, police said they could not comment on the value of the items stolen. nevertheless dean of the Strängnäs parish, Christofer Lundgren, told CNN affiliate Expressen of which their monetary value pales in comparison to their significance in Sweden’s cultural history.

The thieves fled in an open-topped motorboat coming from the base of the church. Police patrol boats along with helicopters joined the hunt.

of which year, a man was convicted along with sentenced to four along with half years in prison for the robbery.

Hatton Garden safe deposit

Thieves broke into Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd in London, using a drill to get through the thick wall.

Thieves broke into Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd in London, using a drill to get through the thick wall. Credit: Metropolitan Police Service

Carried out during the Easter holiday in 2015, of which heist saw thieves break into Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd in London before creating away with nearly £14 million ($21.2 million) in gems, jewelry along with cash. of which was later described in court as the “largest burglary in English legal history.”

The perpetrators gained access through an elevator shaft. They then used a drill to bore through a six-foot-thick wall along with enter the basement vault, investigators said at the time.

Four men eventually went on trial, pleading guilty to conspiracy to burgle. The prosecution described the thieves, who were all aged above 40, as “ringleaders along with organizers” of the crime.

At the time, media outlets had speculated the value of the haul could be from the vicinity of £0 million (then $303 million), though during the trial, prosecutors placed the value of the stolen property at £14 million.

Carlton Hotel

A view of the Carlton hotel, in Cannes, southern France, the scene of a daylight raid.

A view of the Carlton hotel, in Cannes, southern France, the scene of a daylight raid. Credit: Lionel Cironneau/AP

A series of jewelry heists rocked the French Riviera in 2013. Among them was the extraordinary theft of jewels worth an estimated €102 million ($136 million) coming from an exhibition at the Carlton Hotel in broad daylight.

The robber, whose face was covered by a hat along that has a scarf, threatened to shoot exhibitors along with guests that has a semiautomatic pistol, the prosecutor’s office deputy prosecutor for organized crime said at the time.

A few months earlier, during the Cannes Film Festival, a necklace worth $2.6 million was stolen coming from a hotel party, shortly after jewels worth more than $1 million had been taken coming from a safe in a hotel room.

The Heist at Harry’s

Armed thieves, some dressed as women along with wearing wigs, entered the Parisian Harry Winston jewelry shop along with stole gems along with jeweled watches.

Armed thieves, some dressed as women along with wearing wigs, entered the Parisian Harry Winston jewelry shop along with stole gems along with jeweled watches. Credit: Francois Mori/AP

In 2008, four armed robbers — two of whom were disguised as women — walked into the luxury jewelry store Harry Winston, in Paris, where they pulled out weapons along with forced customers along with employees into a corner.

They took items coming from display cases along with safes, walking out with an estimated €80 million (then about $105 million) in jewels.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the robbers seemed to know secret hiding places for jewels along with some employees’ first names.

Antwerp diamond heist

Antwerp's judicial director, Eric Sack said thieves copied the masterkeys.

Antwerp’s judicial director, Eric Sack said thieves copied the masterkeys. Credit: Yves Logghe/AP

The day after Valentine’s Day in 2003, $100 million’s worth of precious stones were snatched coming from the Antwerp Diamond Center in Belgium.

The thieves, led by Leonardo Notarbartolo, reportedly managed to penetrate some of the most advanced security measures, including hi-tech combination locks, motion along with heat sensors along with 18-inch steel doors.

They even switched the tapes from the building’s security cameras to avoid being identified. Their one mistake: an incriminating half-eaten sandwich with DNA samples on of which.

After a months-long police operation involving detectives in several countries, the gangsters were eventually arrested, though most of the jewels were never recovered.

Graff Jewelry Store

A platinum diamond pendant was among the pieces of jewellery stolen coming from Graff's store in London's Bond Street.

A platinum diamond pendant was among the pieces of jewellery stolen coming from Graff’s store in London’s Bond Street. Credit: Metropolitan Police/Getty Images

In 2009, two men in suits along with ties walked into Graff jewelry store on London’s completely new Bond Street from the middle of the day along with stole jewelry worth an estimated £40 million (then about $65 million).

The men threatened employees with handguns before grabbing 43 items — including earrings, necklaces along with watches — along with escaping in a blue BMW.

At the time, of which was Britain’s largest ever jewelry heist. The two thieves, as well as two different men, were caught along with charged for the audacious robbery.

Brussels Airport

Marc Bertoldi was accused of masterminding the multi-million dollar diamond theft at Brussels Airport.

Marc Bertoldi was accused of masterminding the multi-million dollar diamond theft at Brussels Airport. Credit: Mathieu Cugnot/AP

In 2013, eight masked men dressed in police uniforms stormed Brussels Airport along with made off with $50 million in rough along with polished diamonds of which were being loaded onto a plane.

After breaching a fence along with racing onto the tarmac, the thieves threatened workers at gunpoint.

Within three minutes, the men had taken the diamonds coming from the plane’s hold, an airport spokesperson said at the time.

Authorities said of which was a “big surprise” of which such a slick heist had been possible — suggesting of which of which had been the work of professionals, not a chance hold-up. Antwerp, the city known as the earth’s diamond-cutting capital, lies only about 25 miles away coming from Brussels.

ABN Amro Bank

A branch of the Dutch bank ABN Amro from the northern Belgian city of Antwerp is actually seen closed after diamonds were stolen.

A branch of the Dutch bank ABN Amro from the northern Belgian city of Antwerp is actually seen closed after diamonds were stolen. Credit: Michel Wiegandt/AFP/Getty Images

One unorthodox approach to robbery: chocolates along with charm. In March 2007, a man using the name Carlos Hector Flomenbaum became a frequent customer at ABN Amro bank in Antwerp.

After befriending staff members, who believed him to be a successful diamond trader, along with even gifting them chocolate, Flomenbaum was able to acquire a key to the bank’s vault. He simply let himself in along with walked out the front door with 0,000 carats of diamonds, worth $28 million.

Venice’s Doge’s Palace

Jewels on display at the "Treasures of the Mughals along with the Maharajahs" exibithion, at Venice's Doge's Palace, in Venice, Italy,

Jewels on display at the “Treasures of the Mughals along with the Maharajahs” exibithion, at Venice’s Doge’s Palace, in Venice, Italy, Credit: Andrea Merola/AP

Doge’s Palace, a favorite tourist destination in Venice, was displaying a collection coming from the Qatari royal collection in 2018 when two thieves snatched a pair of earrings along that has a brooch made coming from diamonds, gold along with platinum.
The jewels had a customs value of 30,000 euros (around $31,000), nevertheless at the time, Venice’s police chief told Reuters they were actually worth “a few million euros.”

The pieces — owned by the former Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani — were taken in broad daylight on the last day of the exhibition. One suspect acted as a lookout, police believe, while another grabbed the jewels coming from a display case.

A preliminary investigation revealed of which the pair were able to delay the alarm system by one minute, meaning of which wasn’t triggered until they had made their escape.

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