Mysteries grab our ATTENTION! Don’t they?

Mysteries are so overwhelming that we get involved in them and relates them with us. A mystery takes a person to a relatively new world with strange and never-ending surprises until it uncovers the truth.

Throughout the history of forensic science, experts/detectives have faced many mysterious cases including murders, robberies, heists, etc.

Heist is a word given for taking away something illegally i.e., without permission. Among several crimes, heists are one of the commonest ones. Some of the heists even lead to death due to intervention by police or citizens.

if you look into heists in detail, you will find how difficult it is to conduct a successful heist and yet many heists have remained mysterious till now. Here, I have listed some of the top 8 unsolved heists of history.

Unsolved Heists of the World

1. Isabella Gardener’s Museum Heist

Considered to be an artifact heist, this incident took place inside Isabella Gardener’s museum. Isabella made a collection of her paintings and represented them in her own museum. This heist is under the top 8 because this is still one of the highest bounty-bearing cases.

The museum consisted of paintings and artifacts worth $500 million and the incident took place in 1990. It was told by witnesses and victims (two security officers) that two men dressed as policemen performed the heist after tying them.

After analyzing, police investigators reported that burglars took only less worthy objects that worthed up to a few thousand dollars. Objects claimed to be stolen were a few paintings, a Chinese bronze beaker, and a royal eagle.

They explained that robbers were stupid in robbing these paintings instead of other priceless ones showing that they don’t have any knowledge about art. They declared a bounty of $10 million which is still active. For the case, among various suspects, one was Robert Gentile, a renowned mobster.

2. Belfast Bank Robbery

The largest unsolved bank robbery in the history of the UK or whole of Europe occurred in December 2004. On a Sunday night, groups of armed men dressed as police officers entered the homes of two northern bank officials and took hostage of their family members, ordering bank employees to obey them.

The employees were told to go to work the next day as a normal day or their families would be killed. Afraid of this, they obeyed all the orders given by them and helped robbers to gain vault access where everything valuable including money was kept.

They robbed the bank having money equivalent to $53 million in today’s dollars. Though one of them was convicted for money laundering due to a lack of witnesses and evidence, the case remains unsolved.

3. Airport Diamond Heist, 2005

Today’s extreme security we experience in airports is due to some criminal acts in the past. In 2005, a group of armed men dressed like employees of KLM airline hijacked a cargo plane and stole an armored truck containing diamonds and other precious uncut stones.

It was reported that the plane was boarded for Antwerp, Berlin when it was hijacked and Antwerp was considered to be the diamond capital of the country. After several days, a truck similar to the armored one was recovered but was empty from inside. Till now the case is open as although there were several eye-witnesses, no suspects were nabbed.

Antwerp once faced this type of heist in 2003 when a man named Notarbartolo robed the most precious diamond with utter skills and effort. Through the efforts, police were able to nab him along with his companions, thus giving him the deserved punishment.

4. Carlton Luxury Hotel Heist, 1994

You might have seen a movie named “To Catch a Thief” directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1995. The hotel illustrated in that film was where once a famous heist was orchestrated a year before the movie.

Three gunmen entered the hotel, each carrying an automatic gun, and demanded jewels and cash. It was reported that the heist offered them jewels worth $50 million. Even after a thorough evaluation of the crime scene, investigators found no bullet shells or fired holes on walls, concluding that the weapon was empty. Due to lack of evidence, no culprit was ever found and apprehended.

5. Carlton Hotel Heist, 2013

Exactly after 19 years of the first Carlton Hotel Heist, in 1994 the quickest ever heist was performed. In the hotel, several Israeli jewels were imported for exhibition by Lev Levie which were robbed by an individual with a handgun.

The man carried a handgun and forced every unarmed guard to kneel down at gunpoint. Due to fear, they obeyed the order which paved way for his robbery. He took a suitcase carrying 72 jewels sent by Lev Levie and went off.

Even though investigators obtained a CCTV camera but were unable to identify the individual. They finally had to deem a bounty of 1.3 million dollars, even after which no one was arrested for the crime.

6. Zurich Painting Heist 2008

In 2008, three men wearing ski masks stormed into Zurich’s small and private art museum right before closing by terrifying staff and visitors to lie back down. They removed four paintings from the wall, threw them from the window which was then grabbed, and placed inside the van standing right down the side of the road.

The reported stolen paintings were a Cezanne, a Degas, a Van Gogh, and a Monet that make up to 163 million dollars. In a survey, the FBI claimed that these types of cultural property crimes are creating a loss of almost 6 billion dollars per year.

7. Irish Crown Jewels, 1907

This is one of the oldest thefts that happened in Dublin castle. Irish Crown jewels were considered to be regalia from St. Patrick. The castle was constructing a strongroom where these jewels were to be stored. Till the construction, it was decided to keep them in the office of Ulster King.

The guards were given two different duties; outside ones had the keys for the office of Ulster King and the Vicars had keys for storeroom where these jewels were kept. It was reported that the Vicars used to remain drunk during their duties.

The Irish Crown Jewels were shifted to the newly constructed strongroom of the castle. By 11 June 1907, these jewels were last seen and the theft was reported on 6th July. It was believed that the theft was executed after jewels were shifted but after efforts of investigators no one was nabbed.

8. 300 Million Yen Robbery

According to witnesses, the heist was performed by an individual claiming himself to be a policeman. As per their tale, in December the Nihon Shintaku Ginko company was preparing for bonus money transference to the employees of Toshiba’s Fuchu factory.

In between the travel, the vehicle they were travelling in was interfered by a police officer informing that the car might contain a bomb that can detonate anytime as there was an explosion in the manager’s house.

The police officer checked for a bomb and made up a fake fire conveying that the car might explode soon as it has bomb as suspected. Because of fear, the drivers ran far away from the car and the officer fled along with the money worth $817,520 at that time.

Though police investigators gathered plenty of evidence none of them was useful and had no connection with the case. No apprehension took place due to some statute of limitations, lack of evidence and witnesses.

“Another bonus case of the heist that was being unsolved was the missing of the “Tucker Cross”. Tucker cross was considered to be one of the priceless ornaments which are made up of 22-carat gold. The Tucker Cross was being gifted to Queen Elizabeth II for which it was being shifted via roadways.

When it arrived at the destined location everyone was shocked to see that the original 22-carat gold Tucker gold was replaced by a plastic replica. Investigators still don’t know when it was replaced and where did the incident happen”.

Categories: Top 5


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