Tag Archives: robbery

Jewelry History Lesson: Top 5 Jewelry Heists

We’re sure you’ve heard about the latest jewelry heist in London, where thieves walked away with almost $300 million (if you haven’t, think Oceans Eleven). We’ve gone ahead and compiled a very important history lesson that we’d love to share with you – five of the top jewelry heists in history! Check em’ out.

1) London Hatton Garden Jewelry Heist

When: Good Friday and Easter Sunday, April 2015.

Where: Hatton Garden Safety Deposit Limited (HGSD), London, England.

How: Robbers entered through the elevator shaft and emptied 72 safety deposit boxes.

Amount Stolen: Around $300 million in jewelry.


2) Carlton Cannes Heist 

When: July 2013.

Where: The Carlton Intercontinental Hotel, Cannes, France.

How:  One robber entered the lobby and filled his briefcase with jewelry from the “Extraordinary Diamonds” hotel jewelry exhibit from Leviev diamond company.

Amount Stolen: Around $136 million in jewelry.


3) Graff Diamonds Heist

 When: August 2009.

Where: Graff Diamonds jewelry store, London, England.

How: Two members from “Pink Panthers” robbery crew underwent four hours of makeup for disguises, threatened those inside with guns, took hostages, and got away in getaway cars.

Amount Stolen: Around $65 million in jewelry.


4) Harry Winston Paris Heist

 When: December 2008.

Where: Harry Winston jewelry store, Paris, France.

How: Four men entered the store dressed in wigs, and knew employees first names and where hidden storage boxes were located.

Amount Stolen: Around $113 million in jewelry.




5) Antwerp Diamond Center Heist

When: February 2003.

Where: Antwerp Diamond Center, Antwerp, Belgium.

How: “The School of Turin” gang planned for four years, had copies of vault keys made, taped over security cameras, and were able to bypass layers and layers of security including infrared heat detectors.

Amount Stolen: Around $100 million in jewelry.









The Jewelry Insider

December 20, 2008

Socialista, Paris Hilton, may have a new BFF, but she no longer has about $2 million of her own jewelry. The Los Angeles Times reports that a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves entered through the front door of Hilton’s Sherman Oaks home at 5 a.m. Friday morning and ransacked her bedroom before fleeing with the icy loot and other personal belongings.

Sources told the Times that Paris was not home at the time – even though she was photographed the previous night at several LA night spots.


Authorities do not believe the Hilton robbery was connected to burglaries that have beset the Westside and Hollywood Hills lately, costing many celebs hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry and other valuables.

In those incidents two or three men wearing ski masks and gloves hit more than 70 homes usually at night and often on weekends. Some of the victims of these gloved intrusions include former Paramount Pictures chief Sherry Lansing and her Oscar-winning director husband, William Friedkin, Los Angeles Clippers basketball star Cuttino Mobley, Duran Duran guitarist John Taylor and his wife, Juicy Couture President Gela Nash-Taylor, and country music stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

Jewelry thieves seem to be making a comeback these days, with the shocking Harry Winston drag queen robbery in Paris making headlines and the economy perhaps forcing many others to put their sticky fingers where they don’t belong. Or maybe it’s Hollywood copycats paying homage to their most famous incarcerated gloved criminal, one Mr. O.J. Simpson?

Regardless, celebs like Hilton might want to take extra security precautions until the crime wave passes. Like, say, locking her door? Just a thought…

The Jewelry Insider

December 5, 2008

Diamond jewelry valued at $108 million was seized yesterday in a shocking robbery of the Parisian branch of high-end jeweler, Harry Winston. The well-organized bandits were said to know the names of several employees and the location of the branch’s secret jewelry storage units. And the best part? They robbed in drag!

According to Yahoo! news, armed men dressed in wigs and women’s dresses entered the store on Avenue Montaigne near the Champs-Elysees shortly before their closing time. They took nearly everything on display and forced staff to hand off diamonds stashed away in the back. No one was injured and no shots were fired. (The fashion police were unfortunately off duty).

This heist comes on the heels of a similar raid on the very same branch over a year ago, where thieves escaped with more than $25 million in glittering gems. Coincidence? Or is this the same outfit back for another grab?

“We are clearly dealing with well-organized, ruthless criminals,” Winston spokeswoman, Isabelle Montagne, said yesterday.

Parisian TV crews and curious passersby littered the road outside the store and marveled at the millions lost.

“How on earth are they going to fence all that,” asked Richard Conacher, a 39-year-old pub worker from Melbourne.

The largest-ever jewelry heist took place in February 2003, when thieves took diamonds valued at 100 million euros from vaults at Antwerp’s diamond exchange, according to Agence France- Presse.

Jewelry heists are dramatized in Hollywood as rather ‘romantic’ crimes, (Exhibit A: To Catch A Thief, Exhibit B: The James Bond ouevre). Click here for a closer look at historic real-life jewelry thefts (and put those Cary Grant cat burglar fantasies in a box where they belong.)