7. The French Bank Vault Tunnelers
Amount stolen: $34.3 million
This has been regarded as the crime of the century in France, considering not just the daring attitude exhibited by the robbers but the cunning and tactics employed by them. In a theme which is recurring in this article, the robbers spent a long time weakening the walls of the bank through a neighboring cellar. They would enter the cellar and use pick axes or even flame throwers to weaken the walls, which were over 31 inches thick! Never let it be said that thieves are not hard workers. Once they weakened the walls enough to break them, they entered the Credit Lyonnais branch, which had been closed for refurbishment at the time, which is probably one of the primary reasons why the specific branch was chosen. Once they entered the bank, they subdued the guard present and tied him up before warning him that sudden movements would likely end in his death. They then had the luxury of time, spending hours emptying more than 200 safes before leaving. They were so well rehearsed that they even set a fire once they were done, which set off the bank’s sprinklers so that the water would destroy any evidence that they might leave behind. It goes without saying that the gang is still at large and probably living a good life. Since no one was identified, they don’t even need to sneak around but can enjoy their illegal earnings to the maximum.