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Criminal Mastermind: Most Famous and Bizarre Robberies

Robbery is a crime which has been perpetuated throughout history in an array of high-profile instances - some examples include the famous B...

Robbery is a crime which has been perpetuated throughout history in an array of high-profile instances - some examples include the famous Brinks Mat Robbery of 1983 - or the Lufthansa Heist which took place in 1978. 

Many of such memorable incidents have been romanticized in Hollywood movies and TV documentaries. 

The thefts which are most remembered are often shrouded in mystery, or have a bizarre twist making them all the more interesting to read about in a newspaper. 
An Armed Robbery in Progress 

This list documents some of those crimes which will continue to be remembered throughout history.

John Wojtowicz & Salvatore Naturile Robbery - 1972
On August 22nd, 1972, a branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank in Brooklyn, New York was held up by two homosexuals wielding rifles. These men included twenty-seven year-old John Wojtowicz and eighteen year-old Salvatore Naturile. 

Another man had also been involved in the robbery, but he lost his nerve before the hold up and ran home. Due to extremely poor planning by the robbers, who spent no less than twenty minutes inside the bank collecting their loot, the police surrounded the bank and a hostage situation ensued. 

The amateur thieves also called each other by their first names, despite being in the presence of multiple witnesses. Both were not wearing gloves and failed to conceal their faces with masks.

During the hostage situation, which lasted seventeen hours, the two men became media celebrities, and John Wojtowicz communicated with police outside the bank, as a crowd of rebellious onlookers cheered him. 

The Jules Rimet Trophy - 1966
In 1966 the Jules Rimet Trophy was to be awarded to the winners of the Football World Cup, which was to be held in England. Early in the year the trophy was scheduled to be displayed at an exhibition at Westminster Central Hall, under the condition that it was under constant guard. 

It was also insured for £30,000 against theft. On the day of the exhibition security was extremely tight, and the trophy room was monitored around the clock by guards and other plainclothes officers. However at some point around midday the trophy was left unguarded for only a short period, during a change in the guard. 

When the new guards went to their posts, they found the trophy was gone. The display case had been forced open, along with the back door of the building. The thieves had somehow removed the padlock from the case and broken down the door, without making sufficient noise for anyone to investigate. 

Immediately following the robbery, police found they had no leads. Although witnesses had identified strange men hanging around the building prior to the theft, there was nothing to suggest they had anything to do with the robbery. 

Then the day after the theft, a phone call was made to the chairman of the Football Association, demanding a ransom of £15,000. The male voice identified himself only as Jackson, and warned the chairman not to contact police, or else the trophy would be melted down for scrap. 

Despite these warnings, the chairman immediately rang the police, who organized a successful sting operation. Although the trophy wasn’t recovered, “Jackson” was arrested and charged, though it is generally believed that he was not involved in the theft and acted only as a middle-man.

Exactly a week after the robbery, the trophy was discovered by a man named David Corbett, who was walking his dog. When the dog, Pickles, began sniffing at a brown parcel under a bush, Corbett unwrapped the parcel and found the trophy inside, wrapped in newspaper. 

After returning the trophy to the nearest police station, Corbett collected rewards totaling over £6,000. He was also given the privilege of dining with the England football team after they won the World Cup later in the year. - Online Sources 

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