We have all seen movies of notorious thieves and burglars. Although we never hope to get robbed, we are drawn to these larger than life stories. The dazzling details of pulling off a heist and the thrilling stories grab our attention. Here are eight of the most notorious and interesting thieves.
- Bonnie and Clyde: We start our list with the most well-known partners in crime, Bonnie and Clyde. During the Depression Era (1932-34), the couple was allegedly responsible for several robberies and kidnappings that included at least 14 murders. Multiple movies were made about them.
- John Dillinger: Staying in the Depression Era, our next thief is John Dillinger. In less than a year, Dillinger and his gang killed 10 men and wounded seven more when robbing 24 banks and police arsenals and orchestrating three jailbreaks. Famous actor Johnny Depp played Dillinger in the 2009 film, Public Enemies.
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Hollywood has also told the story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, who were played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the 1967 Oscar-winning film. The two thieves headed the Wild Bunch gang which robbed banks and trains in the early 1900s before evading police by escaping to South America.
- Vincenzo Perugia: The Mona Lisa is perhaps the most recognizable piece of art ever created. Vincenzo Perugia actually stole it in 1911 by hiding in the Louvre, Paris’ famous art museum. Once the museum closed, he took the painting and hid it with his smock, which was similar to what the Louvre employees wore. After grabbing the Mona Lisa, he proceeded to exit with no problems. Two years later, he attempted to sell the painting to an art dealer, who turned him into the police. Interestingly enough, he only served close to eight months in jail for the crime.
- The Pink Panthers: The distinction of the world’s most successful diamond thieves goes to the Pink Panthers, a large gang of close to 200 people who have committed upwards of 300 armed robberies and thefts across the world. The group earned its name after Milan Jovetic was arrested after a blue diamond was found in his girlfriend’s jar of face cream, a nod to the Pink Panther movie. The Pink Panthers is known for their style, using disguises such as Hawaiian tourists, workmen and golfers and various escape methods.
- Doris Payne: Since the 1950s, Doris Payne has reportedly stolen $2 million in jewels at different high-end jewelry stores across the globe in cities such as New York, London, Rome and Paris. After serving three months in jail in 2014, the 85-year-old struck again by stealing a $690 pair of earrings in Atlanta before returning to prison.
- Leonardo Notarbartolo: This list would be incomplete without Leonardo Notarbartolo. He is known as the leader of the School of Turin and architect of the Antwerp diamond heist, the largest in history. He and his five-man crew stole diamonds, gold and jewelry valued at $100 million from the Antwerp Diamond Centre in Belgium in February of 2003. Notarbartolo was arrested but eventually released on parole. He claimed that the School of Turin was hired and the crime was insurance fraud. The diamonds are still missing.
- Blane Nordahl: Closing out our list is Blane Nordahl. Known as the Silver Thief, Nordahl stole silver items from celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Bruce Springsteen, Ivana Trump and Billy Joel.
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