Mega Heists: Part one

Robberies are happening all the time, but most of those are simply cases carried out by petty burglars and could have been easily avoided. However, occasionally a heist will take place that’s so unbelievable, intricate or valuable that its story is worthy of the Hollywood treatment. Here at Abacus Shutters, we’ll be running a series of these mega heists, starting today with two of the biggest heists the world has seen. Enjoy!


The Antwerp Diamond Heist

Stolen: $100 million

In 2003, a heist was carried out at the Antwerp Diamond Centre, located in Antwerp’s gem district. The perpetrators made away with loose diamonds, gold, and jewellery valued at more than $100 million. Until it was overtaken in 2005, this heist held the title as the largest diamond heist in history.

What makes this heist special is that the Antwerp Diamond Centre is not an easy place to break into. The site has multiple security mechanisms in its sophisticated system. These include a lock with 100 million combinations, infrared heat detectors, a seismic sensor, Doppler radar and a magnetic field, as well as a private security force housed in the diamond sensor.

The perpetrators, believed to be a five-man team, planned the robbery at least two and a half years in advance. The School of Turin, as the gang called themselves, acquired copied keys, created fake security footage and made plans to sneak by the security system, and it very nearly worked! Fortunately, the leader of the gang was apprehended and sentenced to 10 years in prison, however the diamonds still remain unrecovered to this day and are expected to have been lost on the black market.

The Baghdad Bank Robbery

Stolen: $252 million

Despite being one of the largest bank robberies in history, the Baghdad Bank Robbery went largely unreported when it occurred in 2007. The robbery is known to have been carried out by three security guards who were working at the bank at the time. Even though the haul was so large, it’s thought that not much planning was done before this robbery, however the guards still managed to escape without being caught. It’s thought that the guards had help from the local militia to escape without any trace, although there are also rumours that the local militia simply helped themselves to the loot!

Most of the money that was stolen was in US dollars, with a very small amount of Iraqi currency too, although it’s still unclear why so much money was present in the bank at the time. This heist doesn’t win the title for the biggest heist in Iraq, that title goes to the $1 billion robbery of the Central Bank of Iraq in 2003 that was carried out by Saddam Hussein himself!


Here at Abacus Shutters, we’re passionate about security, and that’s why we can give you an exceptional and dedicated service that can keep you and your property safe. We can provide a whole list of brilliant security features, including security doors in London, so if you’re in need of some sophisticated security for your building then look no further than us. For more information about what we could provide for you, contact us on 0845 644 1225 and a member of our team will be happy to help!