George Leslie was an architect who decided that he would earn more as a criminal, and boy howdy did he. He stole millions from banks around the place, but his biggest score was in Manhattan.
He planned for more than three years, studying the building and drawing up his own blueprints using his architectural knowledge. However, he died before it ever happened – many believe it was by one of his own men, Tom Draper. Even with Leslie out, the crime went off as planned, netting almost three million dollars – nearly eighty million now.
The Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company Heist — $21 Million
London has a long history of heists, and this one has been called “the largest burglary in English legal history,” according to the courts. A group of career criminals thought to be in their sixties and seventies targeted the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, making off with a mega bundle of jewels and cash.
The ringleader was Brian Reader, a seventy-six-year-old who is also thought to be behind the Baker Street Robbery. However, this has never been definitively proven. It just goes to show that sometimes the old-timers still have something to offer the world. Except for this time, it was a really costly crime.
The Boston Museum Heist — $500 Million
Super famous paintings can go for big bucks if you can find a seller. That's what the robbers in 1990 thought when they broke into the Boston Museum. They were able to cuff a few security guards, and then they started lifting paintings. They ended up with thirteen paintings, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Degas.
The total cost was something like five hundred million dollars, and the thieves are still out there, somewhere, enjoying their fine art and/or all the money they got from the sales. It's the biggest robbery to take place in a museum, and there are plenty of theories but no clear-cut answers.
The Brazen Harry Winston Jewel Heist — $90 Million
In December of 2008, eight women entered the Harry Winston in Paris, dressed in dresses, heels, and guns. What was that last one? Yes, they had guns, and they also had a hand grenade, and oh also they were men that were wearing wigs. Sike! They managed to make off with about ninety million dollars worth of jewels.
It was eventually determined that the mastermind was one Douadi Yahiaoui, who is responsible for a few big heists. Some of the jewels appeared in a suburb of Paris in 2011, and the police were able to track the thieves down using that information.
“The Scream” Gets Stolen in Broad Daylight – Unknown
The prime time to make off with some art is during the night when museums are closed, but that's too easy for some people. The Munch Museum in Oslo, in 2004, was the scene of one of these daring robberies, and it went off without a hitch. Robbers held guards and crowds at gunpoint as they lifted Munch's most famous painting, “The Scream,” as well as “Madonna.”
They then fled the scene in a black station wagon. Rumors started swirling about what was going to happen to the famous paintings, but they were recovered a few short years later. Six arrests were made.