5 Real-World Heists That Sound Like Bad Movie Plots

5 Real-World Heists That Sound Like Bad Movie Plots

We don't endorse crime, but if you are going to commit it, you should at least make it weird. So while for legal reasons we technically frown on all of the following, we would definitely watch movies and/or Netflix documentaries about the hijinks that ensued.

The Great Turtle Smuggling Operation

Please enjoy this sad yet adorable photo of duct-taped turtles.

Ta ZI opew
Bureau of Customs NAIA
The tape provides crucial resistance training if you want them to grow up into ninjas.

Those were among 1,500 turtles found in four unclaimed suitcases in Manila's international airport. Three of the four species represented are classified as vulnerable, making it illegal to poach and sell them. But the exotic pet trade doesn't really care about technicalities like "our hobby might drive these creatures to extinction," and so the smuggled turtles had a street value of $87,000. Just imagine someone furtively opening up their trench coat to show you their wide range of endangered turtles, urging you to make a decision before the cool drug dealers laugh them out of the dark alleyway.

5 Real-World Heists That Sound Like Bad Movie Plots
Bureau of Customs NAIA
"Throw some cookies and an old shoe in there. That should mask the smell of a thousand cramped reptiles."

Some of the turtles were taped up, while others had been stuffed in plastic containers or buried in clothes. The flight had arrived from Hong Kong, but the bags were never claimed, with authorities suspecting that the smuggler got cold feet upon being reminded of the potential ten years in jail and $1.3 million fine they could face for animal smuggling. Thankfully, all of the turtles survived and were transferred to a care unit, joining geckos, iguanas, chameleons, and bearded dragons on the list of critters that had recently been nabbed at the border. Sadly, authorities did not sternly pose for photos with a table covered in guns and 1,500 turtles. Instead they were merely described by the media as "shell-shocked." More than one crime was committed here.

Canadian Thieves Stole Thousands Of Dollars' Worth Of Fancy Water

In Newfoundland -- the West Virginia of Canada -- thieves made off with 30,000 liters of water. (The American equivalent would be 63,401.3 pints of Coors Light.) But this wasn't just any old water for chumps. It was iceberg water, kept in a special storage facility and meant for use in vodka production. After all, if you can put a picture of a glacier on your vodka bottle, you can charge double to people who will feel classy while they dump it into Red Bull.

Beyond possibly getting revenge for the Titanic, it's unclear what the goal of the thieves was. Iceberg water is valuable -- it's an expensive pain in the ass to harvest, but it's some of the cleanest water on the planet. The Mounties estimated that the stolen water would theoretically be worth up to $9,000. And since the water is only harvested once a year, the thieves had precise timing.

But while they picked their moment, while transferring their haul to their vehicle, they almost certainly would have contaminated the water, rendering it no more valuable than what fills your toilet. Or in the precise words of an employee at the vodka factory, "Jesus, what are they going to do with it?" Maybe they thought they were stealing actual vodka and had the most disappointing post-heist party ever.

Burglars Cut A Hole In A Bank Roof During Fourth Of July Celebrations

You know that action movie cliche whereby an evil hitman will wait until the big parade gets loud or the symphony orchestra reaches a swell so they can fire a shot without being noticed? Here's the trashy real-life version of that.

Because state-of-the-art bank security can apparently still be foiled by plans from a kids cartoon, a group of burglars sawed their way through the roof of a New York City bank. It's believed that they did so during a large Fourth of July fireworks display, which masked the noise and ensured that the bank would be empty. And if you're assuming that once they got in, they were foiled by a silent alarm or a laser grid or something, nope. They couldn't break into the largest safe, but they still walked off with around $290,000 from a less-secure vault. You at least have to admire the hustle it takes to be willing to work on a major holiday.

A Sinkhole Turns Out To Be A Tunnel To A Bank

If you see a small hole in the road, you'll likely assume that it's a pothole or a sinkhole, especially in the parts of America where infrastructure funding is considered a communist plot to let undocumented immigrants have quicker commutes to your job they stole. But this little hole right here ...

5 Real-World Heists That Sound Like Bad Movie Plots
FBI Miami
Which, to reiterate, would rate a 7/10 on the pothole scale for half the country.

... was on its way to a nearby bank. The tunnel hadn't been finished when Florida road workers found it, and it's possible that it had been abandoned after extended rainfall caused a partial collapse, but it was a sophisticated project that apparently involved multiple people. Police located a winch and wagon used to haul away dirt, as well as a generator, so this wasn't a bunch of dummies digging with shovels. No suspects were named, but as the tunnel was no more than three feet in diameter, police were looking for the least-claustrophobic locals they could find.

The Infamous Noodle Caper Of 2018

In what was essentially a real-life Noodle Incident, a 53-foot trailer packed with about $98,000 worth of instant ramen noodles was stolen by what we can only assume were some really broke and desperate college students. An estimated 520,000 packs of noodles were in the truck, and it doesn't appear that the crime was ever solved. So the thieves are set for life -- albeit a short life full of diabetes and hypertension.

It's unclear what the motive was, beyond wanting to live as the stereotypical slacker friend from a 2000s comedy. Although we suppose it's equally possible that the thieves just wanted the truck, and the noodles were a deliciously ruinous bonus. But drop us a line if anyone you know starts talking about how, now that the heat is off, they can finally make their dreams of Hot Tub Noodles a reality.

Mark is on Twitter and wrote a book that's priced at a steal.

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