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Thieves tunnel into bank. Steal 68 Million!! (1 Viewer)

Joseph DeMartino

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You're thinking of Albert Spaggiari's famous Bastille Day robbery of a bank in Nice.

There was also a German case that was one of the all-time classic heists: A group of apparent "terrorists" took 17 people in a bank hostage. They hustled the hostages into one part of the bank, held desultory "negotiations" with the police by telephone, then abruptly refused to continue talking and set a deadline for delivery of a ransom and escape vehicles after which they would start killing hostages. The police tensely waited for the deadline to expire, then stormed the bank.

They found the hostages scared, but safe, and the "terrorists" - and around 4 million Deutchmarks - missing.

The cops had been faked out. The "terrorists" had spent months tunnelling beneath the streets of the city, from a rented work shed some blocks away. When they were close to the point of breaking into the vault they stopped work, entered the bank through the front door and set up the hostage situation. Then they broke through the vault floor and spent several hours shuttling between the bank and their shed (using a rope-pull and wheeled platform system not unlike that featured in The Great Escape.) The last several "silent" hours, running up to the deadline for killing the hostages, was spent cleaning up, getting the team out and disguising the hole in the vault floor.

Carelessness led to the shed's discovery, and then someone who knew the robbers but wasn't directly involved gave them up before they could make it out of the country. One of the true crime shows (on A&E, Discovery or CourtTV) did a segment on it. I tried to find a detailed article on it via Google, but couldn't so the outline above is from memory and could be a bit off. There is thie recent article on the arrest of one of the robbers in Lebanon.

Regards,

Joe
 

ChristopherDAC

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Alas, the drilling in the wall kept up, but no-one seemed to pay it any mind. :D I think the German thieves who stole used DM notes from the Central Bank incinerator [everywhere else in the country, old notes were mutiliated before being shipped to the head office, but those collected there were not!] were a little more clever, though.
 

Brian Johnson

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I say good for them.

Glad to see a little hard work pay off.


I think the movie you may be thinking of is Short Circuit 2. They have Johnny Five dig underground to get to the vault.
Great movie. :b
 

Joseph DeMartino

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Like those guys a few years who formed a syndicate to buy 14. million lottery tickets so they'be certain of hitting the winning numbers? The won alright, but the $40-odd million dollar grand prize ended up being split among multiple winning tickets and the syndicate only got back about $12 million after taxes. :D

Regards,

Joe
 

Joseph DeMartino

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There was a 1979 French film, Les Égouts du paradis (translated in English as The Sewers of Paradise) that was based directly on the Spaggiari case, as well as several TV documentaries which featured reenactments of the events with actors playing the cops and gang members. Vlad may also have seen one of these.

Regards,

Joe
 

Vlad D

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Thats the one. I remember that it happened over a long weekend, and that the robbers actually had a picnic in the vault. I didn't know that they were caught, for some reason I remember that they had gotten away with.
 

Dave Poehlman

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Now that's how you should rob a bank.... none of this arming yourself to the teeth, wearing masks, taking hostages crap... put some thought into it people!
 

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