I found I was a little imprecise in my previous post... what was robbed Wednesday morning was not a traditional bank, but actually a security depot that held old currency for the Bank of England. The depot was charged with sorting through torn or defaced bills to be taken out of circulation. Interestingly, the fact that this money has been in circulation means that it will likely be more difficult to track down because it is much less identifiable.
Yesterday’s estimate that “at least” £25 million British Pounds had been stolen has turned out to be rather conservative. Some sources now report that it's actually closer to £50 million Pounds (£1 British Pound is around $1.75 U.S. Dollars - so that is almost $87 million). This might be a thorn in the robbers’ side though, because it may end up being too much cash. The Daily Mirror quotes a former senior British officer as saying “They've bitten off more than they can chew. The case is so high profile it will be almost impossible for them to spend the money.”
There are conflicting estimates of how many people were involved, but at least six armed men wearing balaclavas were at the depot early Wednesday morning. They bound the 15 employees inside with plastic ties and had the manager, Colin Dixon, help them forklift pallets with the two tons of money into their large white truck.
The burglars then ordered
Don't you worry though, the
If the £50 million estimate holds true, it makes this the biggest cash bank robbery in history. Here are the other biggest robberies (cash and other) that I’m aware of:
1963 – The Great Train Robbery: Robbers stole £2.6 million from a
1978 – The Lufthansa Heist: Almost $6 million in cash and jewelry was stolen from the Lufthansa airlines terminal at JFK airport in
1983 – The East London Bank Robbery: Robbers stole almost £6 million from a Security Express depot in
1983 – Brinks Mat Robbery: Six armed robbers posing as security guards got in to the Brink's-Mat high security vault at
1987 – Knightsbridge Security Deposit Robbery: Thieves looted safe deposit boxes after being shown into the vault and got away with an estimated £40 million.
1990 – Bearer Bond Mugging: Muggers stole £292million in bearer bonds at knifepoint from courier
1997 – Dunbar Armored Robbery: Thieves made of with around $18.9 million from the armored car depot.
2003 – Central Bank of Iraq: Nearly $1 billion is stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq the day after the U.S. begins to bomb Baghdad.
2004 – Belfast Northern Bank Robbery: Thieves believed to be connected to the IRA stole more than £26.5million from the headquarters of the Northern Bank.
2005 – Banco Central Burglary at Fortaleza: Burglars rented an empty property near this Brazilian bank and tunneled over 78 meters to break in underneath the bank and escape with almost $70 million.
2006 – Wiltshire Robbery: A crew smashed down the perimeter fence around property tycoon Harry Hyams house and stole paintings and antiques valued at more than £30 million.