Thousands of robberies take place every year but very few are planned thoroughly and remain unsolved. Below are the best of unsolved robberies which can even give Ocean’s Eleven a run for their money.
Central Bank of Brazil robbed of $70 million
Central Bank of Brazil at Banco Central was robbed in August, 2005 by a group of 23 men who were highly trained and had sophisticated equipment and resources including GPS, experts in mathematics, engineering and excavation.
They planned the robbery worth $70 million for more than three months. The gang had renovated a property close to the bank and put up a sign indicating it was a landscaping company selling plants which worked flawlessly to hide the tunnel dirt.
Neighbors, who estimated that the gang consisted of between six and ten men, described how they had seen van-loads of soil being removed daily, but understood this to be a normal activity of the business. A few months after the robbery, five men were arrested while 18 still remain at large.
Twins commit a perfect crime and walk free
A luxury department store, Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin was robbed of 5 million Euros in 2009. While the police found DNA samples at the crime scene, it turned out that it matched two suspects namely Hassan and Abbas who were identical twins with near-identical DNA.
Since under the German law, each criminal must be individually proven guilty even if both of them are involved and thus, they were let go by the courts. This law seems to suggest that these brothers have found the perfect alibi of getting away from any crime scene, even in the future.
Simply walking out of Casino
You may think that one needs George Clooney and a bunch of super talented humans to pull a heist off at a casino, but a simple man named Bill Brennan proved everyone wrong.
Bill used to work as a cashier at Las Vegas Stardust Resort. One day in 1992, he walked out of the casino for his lunch break and was never seen again. Later, the casino discovered that he had put more than half a million dollars in his backpack.
The man was put on the FBI’s watch list and America’s most wanted but was never found. Like they say, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Only aviation robbery to stay unsolved till date
A mysterious man boarded a flight under the name of Dan Cooper for a flight from Portland to Seattle in 1971. During the flight he casually gave a note to the air hostess stating that he had a bomb and if his demands weren’t met, he would blow up the plane.
He further demanded $200,000 in cash with specifics such as putting the cash in knapsack, couple of back and front parachutes along with refueling instructions and with the warning that if he sees anything suspicious then he would just blow up the plane. The authorities were forced to comply with him and he was provided with everything when the plane landed in Seattle.
He then asked the pilot to fly him to Mexico city, all the while giving specific instructions such as keeping the plane at 10,000 feet, adjusting the wing flaps to a certain angle which when put together on that certain model of plane put its speed under 200 knots.
Once the plane was airborne, Dan jumped with both the parachutes attached to him, along with the money and was never seen again. The FBI suspected many people but were never able to solve the case. The name Dan Cooper took the alias DB Cooper when one of the reporters misspelled it. Since it was already trending before the mistake was caught, it thus became known as the case of DB Cooper rather than Dan Cooper.
Biggest diamond robbery amounting to $100 million
During one weekend of 2003, a team of professional thieves carried off what was one of the largest diamond heist of all time. What makes this heists so fascinating is the security the robbers had to penetrate to get to the diamond vault.
The vaults were two stories beneath the ground, limiting the ways in and out of the area. The Diamond Centre had its own team of security personnel monitoring the area. As they moved closer to the vault, they had to find a way past a lock with more than a million possible combinations, infrared heat detectors, doppler radar, seismic sensors, and a magnetic field wired to sound an alarm if it was disturbed.
Few arrests have been made but the money has not being recovered and how the vault was penetrated also remains a mystery till this time.
300 million yen heist from Japan’s Nihon Shintaku Ginko bank
One fine day in 1968, Japan’s NSG bank kept on getting repeated calls of possible bomb threat at the bank and though nothing was found, it did put every employee on their nerve.
Later that day, four employees of the bank were transferring 300 million yen from the bank and were stopped by an officer on his motorcycle. The officer told them that their manager’s house had been blown up. He asked to inspect their car as he had reasons to believe that the van could be the next target.
Already in grief and terrified, these guys complied with the request. As the officer crawled under the car, smoke started coming out from the car making the employees run for their lives. Once these employees left the car, the officer who was actually the thief ran away with the car and the money. The robber was never caught and since the statute of limitations expired, he can come out of hiding without legal troubles.
Man who sold Eiffel Tower, Twice!!
Victor Lustig could be termed as the biggest con-man in human history. He had 45 aliases and undertook some of the most unimaginable robberies of all time. In one of his first cons, he cheated the banks with $32k in 1920 through useless bonds.
When bankers found him and demanded their money back, he explained to them that if he went public with his story, no one would put their money in banks as they are a bunch of idiots. Banks not only let him go but also paid him an extra 1000 bucks for the inconvenience caused to him.
In 1925, the government of Paris were inviting bids for the repair job of Eiffel Tower which Victor “Huge Balls” saw as an invitation to sell this wonder of the world. He coaxed top 5 iron scrap dealers into believing it by forging government letters and stating that the government is trying to sell the Eiffel Tower as it had met its life expectancy and succeeded twice as all the buyers were too ashamed to come forward.
Saw Styled Robbery
In August, 2003 a pizza delivery guy named Brian Wells entered PNC bank with a collar bomb attached to his neck. He demanded $250k in 15 minutes but was only able to get $8k which he took and fled the crime scene.
Soon afterwards, police located his car and confronted Brian, who told them that he was just a pizza delivery boy who was blackmailed into this and was just following instructions he got from the place he had gone to deliver a pizza. Before the cops could figure anything out, the bomb blew off. They then tried to follow the instructions which were given to Brian but that turned out to be a dead-end as well.
Cops then went on to the place where Brian had gone to deliver the pizza. The address was a deserted TV transmission tower site. Not far from it was a house which belonged to an old man, Rothstein, who had no clue about the collar bomb and that’s where the trail ended for the police.
The story takes a turn and the case is picked up again when Rothstein calls 911 after a month to report a dead body inside his fridge. He pled guilty of assisting his ex in hiding her husband’s body but stated that he wasn’t involved in the killing nor this has any connection to the collar bomb case. He died during investigation while his ex, Marjorie, was tried and convicted for the murder and the collar bomb case was pinned on her as well.
She was convicted on testimonies but an FBI officer after years of studying the case found evidence which made Rothstein the mastermind, he seemed to have planned this robbery to prove that he was a genius. The exact planning and reasons are still not known as Rothstein took it with him when he died.