Real-life heists: Crimes so crazy they could inspire ‘Money Heist’ season 5
Why do we love a good heist story? Let us count the ways.
Perhaps it’s the forming of the team, each member skilled in shady but impressive tactics are hand-picked for optimum efficiency. Then there’s the intricate planning, the uniforms stolen, the blueprints studied, the escape plan locked & loaded. Most of all it’s that intoxicating feeling of rebelliousness, of sticking it to the man, walking out with millions, and leaving nothing behind but an empty vault & a calling card.
Yes, we eat that shit up.
And who can blame us? And who can blame Money Heist for capitalizing on our cravings for a well-crafted scheme? While Money Heist may not be based on any real-life crime, there are plenty of bank robberies & jewel thefts that may have inspired the show’s writers. If they’re looking for more material to pad their season five plotline, here are a few true crime suggestions.
Crown Jewels Robbery
Going back to an old-school heist is the attempted robbery of the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London by the Irish rogue, Colonel Thomas Blood. Blood managed to get access to the Tower by posing as a parson and hiring a prostitute to act as his wife. Blood then cozied up to the Master of the Jewel House and cracked the poor fellow on the head as soon as he opened the jewel vault.
Blood and his accomplices did a number on the royal jewels to make them transportable, including flattening the crown with a mallet and sawing the royal scepter in half. The heist failed and Blood was taken to Charles II for sentencing.
However, Blood must have had charm like our silver-tongued buddy Berlin as he secured a pardon from the monarch and even bagged some land in Ireland.
The Great Train Robbery
This heist was masterful due to its unbelievable simplicity. Fifteen armed men walked on a postal train in 1963, after fooling the conductor into stooping with a fake signal. They beat up the guards and made off with $41 million in cash.
Done & dusted. Your move Professor.
The Pink Panthers
These colorful criminals took a bold approach to grand larceny and stole a bunch of jewels while in drag. That’s right, four men dressed as women overtook Harry Winston’s jewelry store in Paris, smashed the store cases, and stole over £85 million in diamonds.
The robbery that followed in 2013 that saw the Carlton Hotel lose £110 million worth of diamonds from the Leviev house was considered to be the biggest jewel heist of all time and the Pink Panthers were suspected as the perpetrators.
All we can think of is Denver rolling around in a big pile of diamonds.
The Russian hacker extravaganza
Here’s one for the books. We have a ring of Russian computer hackers who between the years 2014 & 2016 stole over £650 million from banks all over the world. The ingenious heist included transferring money through fake accounts, using phishing as malware to hack into systems, and programming ATMs to dispense large amounts of cash specifically when their men were posted.
In the end, they robbed over one hundred banks in thirty countries and were never discovered. Reports of large bank robberies done remotely still plague the world today and are thought to be the work of the same hackers.
We’re wondering if Rio would be up for something like this one.
The brilliant scheme of Alves dos Reis
This might be the most bad-ass case of brazen brilliance that we’ve ever seen. This genius of a man Alves dos Reis gets the idea to fool the Banco de Portugal into printing counterfeit money for him. Yes, that’s right folks, he left the money-printing to the professionals.
Alves achieved his plan by assembling a team of foreign spies and diplomats and forged a contract in the bank’s name to authorize the printing of more currency. Alves do Reis obtained all the signatures needed for the contract from his team, he pushed the contract through, and the bank printed him 200,000 banknotes of 500 Portuguese escudos.
Now that’s a forgery worthy of Nairobi’s talent.
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