diamond heists

5 Real Diamond Heists That Would Make James Bond Proud

In London, thieves used an Easter holiday weekend to tunnel into a diamond vault, netting $300 million in gems – making it the biggest diamond heist ever. It’s a throwback to James Bond, as clever thieves make spectacular heists, including:

  • The Antwerp Diamond Heist of 2003: a $100M weekend vault break-in by a small team who planned the robbery years in advance and stole the security camera footage during the heist.
  • The Schiphol Airport Heist of 2005: $118M heist by two workers dressed in KLM uniforms. The robbers penetrated airport security by driving in-and-out in a van they later burned.
  • Harry Winston Paris Heist of 2008: Three well-dressed women reveal themselves as men as they steal $100M in jewelry and watches. Two years later, police found some of the gems in a drainpipe.
  • The Graff Diamond Theft of 2009: A $65M robbery by two men wearing makeup and prosthetics applied by an unwitting make-up artist. Police later discovered the robber’s identities using a cellphone the thieves accidentally left behind.
  • The Cannes Heist of 2013: The massive $136 million theft committed by a lone gunman in less than 120 seconds. The Cannes hotel from which the jewels were stolen was the scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 film, To Catch A Thief.

In 2015, a  crew of thieves in London used the long, four day Easter holiday weekend to dig through walls, rappel down shafts and break into safe deposit boxes at Hatton Gardens,  a famous vault in London’s diamond district. The thieves reportedly got away with $300 million in diamonds and other gems.

Most big diamond heists go unsolved for years, with authorities speculating that they are the work of highly sophisticated global organized crime groups.

Curious about diamonds? Understand more about how they were made, how to spot a fake and how to buy one.

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