The heist over Easter weekend included the theft of gems and cash from a safe deposit company in the heart of London’s jewelry district. Police haven’t given a precise value for what was taken.
Numerous British news organizations put the value of the loss in the hundreds of thousands of pounds, but a former police official in London has speculated it could run to £200 million ($310 million), an estimate widely reported by news media.
Thieves plundered millions in valuables over Easter holiday from the vault of a safety deposit company in Hatton Garden, London's exclusive jewelry district. Stolen cash and jewelry could be worth almost $300 million (£200m), a former Scotland Yard commander told the BBC, though numerous British news organizations put the loss vastly lower, in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In 1978 gangster Jimmy "The Gent" Burke stole $8 million in cash and jewels from John F. Kennedy International Airport. It was considered the largest robbery in U.S. history at the time. Burke died in 1996 while serving 20 years to life in a New York prison when he fell ill with cancer. In January 2014, five alleged mobsters were arrested on racketeering charges related to the 1978 heist.
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In 1990, robbers posing as Boston police officers entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's security door, then handcuffed the guards on duty to pipes in the basement. The 13 pieces of stolen artwork, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer, were valued at $500 million, and are yet to be recovered, despite a $5 million reward offered by the museum for their recovery. Earlier this month, the museum offered $100,000 for the return of one stolen item: a 10-inch-tall gilded bronze eagle -- a finial dating from the Napoleonic era.
A gang of robbers posing as a landscape company dug a tunnel underneath Banco Central in Fortaleza, Brazil. On a Saturday in August 2005, they broke through concrete and steel into a vault and stole $69.8 million (165 million Brazilian reais). A few involved have been caught, but it remains an open case.
Cybercriminals from New York stole $45 million from banks globally by breaking into the banks' systems to drastically increase the amount available on the cards, and then used the information about the cards to withdraw money at banks around the world. Seven were charged and the group leader, Alberto Yusi Lajud-Peña, was killed in April 2013. The photo shows suspects Elvis Rafael Rodriguez (left) and Emir Yasser Yeje, pose with bundles of cash.
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Wearing suits and in professional disguise makeup, two men stole 43 items worth $65 million in the middle of the day from Graff Jewelry Store in London in 2009. They threatened employees with handguns while collecting the merchandise, then drove off in a BMW. The two men were later arrested and jailed. Among the stolen items was this platinum diamond pendant hat.
Just hours before the United States began bombing Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein's family took $1 billion from the country's central bank. People who lived near the Central Bank at the time told CNN that they saw three or four trucks backed up to the bank, and that people appeared to be load money onto them. Since he was acting as an absolute ruler at the time, it may have seemed to him more like a withdrawal than a robbery.
In 1983, six thieves broke into the Brink's-MAT warehouse at Heathrow Airport in London, thinking they would grab a few million in cash. However, they found gold ingots, diamonds and cash worth a total of 28 million pounds (about $50 million at the time). The thieves tied up three guards, doused them in gasoline and said they would light the guards on fire if they didn't give the pass codes to the vault. Just three of 15 men involved in planning and executing the robbery were ever convicted.
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CNN’s Carol Jordan and Alexander Felton contributed to this report.