We're not looking to glamorize criminals or anything, but we do like to applaud people who are good at what they do. That's why movies such as Ocean's Eleven exist -- we all appreciate the brilliance of a fictional master thief because thieves, in real life, usually end up getting tackled by loss prevention associates in the parking lot of Walmart. It's sad more than anything.
So, when we relay the following stories of spectacular real-life heists, we're not saying we approve of what they did, nor do we suggest you try it. It's just nice to see someone who takes a little pride in their work. That's all.
London Crime Bosses Pull Off a Reservoir Dogs Heist by Barricading the City
Meticulously orchestrated diamond heists tend to only exist in movies such as Reservoir Dogs. This is possibly because drug running and extortion have a better effort-to-profit ratio than hiring six random contractors with color-coded nicknames to rob a jewelry store. And yet, in 2009, a London mob managed to pull off a jewelry heist that made Hollywood villains look like a bunch of freaking amateurs.
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Ah, London mobs. They make other rioters look like mere lollygaggers.
The plan, which was funded and planned by unknown crime bosses, involved two burglars, Craig Calderwood and Aman Kassaye, who hired a professional make-up artist to use latex effects to make them look like much older men. The two "old men" then waltzed into the Graff Diamonds store, pretending to be high-rolling businessmen presumably shopping for their wives, their mistresses, or a Ma$e video. When the diamond cases were opened, the two men pulled out their guns and demanded the clerks clean out the drawers of approximately $65 million in jewels -- making it the biggest gemstone heist in British history.
Not counting, of course, jewelers robbing their customers every day.
Of course, actually getting away with your loot is the most important part of any robbery, and that's where the duo's mob connections came in. When police tried to reach the scene, they found that several hired vehicles had been inconveniently parked in a way that completely blocked access to the store. The mob had essentially built a wall of cars to cordon off part of the city, giving the diamond bandits a pretty strong opportunity to get away clean. The thieves immediately seized the chance to crash their getaway car into a London taxi cab. (Note: Even sophisticated real-life criminals are kind of stupid.)