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Biggest Robberies Include Banks, Gold Deposits, Armored Cars With PM-Wells Fargo

April 29, 1985

Undated (AP) _ The biggest robbery of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was that of the Reichsbank following Germany’s collapse in the spring of 1945 at the end of World War II. Negotiable securities worth $400 million were stolen at that time.

Here is a list of some other large thefts:

-In 1983, more than 3 tons of pure gold worth $37.5 million was stolen from a warehouse outside London was the richest robbery haul in British history.

-Robbers got away with a haul estimated between $20 million and $50 million from safe deposit boxes at the British Bank of the Middle East in Beirut in 1976.

-On Jan. 21, 1983, nine certificates of deposit worth $15 million were stolen from the Bank of Sepah-Iran in London. Nearly four months later, on April 4, a 14-member gang made off with $10.5 million in bank notes from Security Express in London

-Rustenburg Platinum Holdings Ltd. in South Africa reported in 1982 that thieves stole $13 million in precious metals from the company.

-On Dec. 12, 1982, two men broke into the Sentry Armored Car Courier Co. office in New York City and robbed it of $11 million. It was the largest cash robbery in U.S. history.

-On Feb. 10, 1983, two masked gunmen stole gold estimated to be worth up to $11 million from Golden Door Jewelry Creations, a large gold smelting firm and jewelry wholesaler in North Miami, Fla.

-On Sept. 12, 1983, a robber made off with $7 million from the Wells Fargo office in Hartford, Conn., after drugging and tying up a driver and office manager.

-The Great Train Robbery of 1963 occurred on Aug. 8, 1963, when a gang ambushed a Glasgow-to-London Post Office train and escaped with 2.6 million pounds, then $7.3 million, most of which has never been recovered.

-In July 1976, a sewer gang that raided the strongroom of the Societe Generale bank in Nice, France, got away with at least $6 million and possibly as much as $20 million in cash, jewelry and securities. The following year, $3.54 million in newly minted coins were stolen near the Gare de Lyon train station in France.

-Two masked gunmen held up Darlington Commodities in Sydney, Australia, the country’s largest jewelry dealer, stealing about $3.5 million in gems.

-On Dec. 11, 1978, six ski-masked bandits burst through a chain-link fence in the Lufthansa cargo area at Kennedy International Airport in New York, taking $5 million in cash and $800,000 in jewelry.

-In 1978, an armored car was robbed of $5 million in New York. Six men were arrested following the Oct. 20, 1974 robbery of $4.3 million from a Purolator, Inc., building in downtown Chicago.

-On April 22, 1981, robbers stole $3.3 million from the First National Bank of Tucson, Ariz., in what was termed the largest bank robbery in U.S. history. One man was arrested in Iowa and some of the money was recovered.

-In 1975, $3 million was stolen from the Bonded Vault Co., in Providence, R.I.

-Eight days after the Lufthansa robbery in December 1978, thieves held up a Wells Fargo armored truck on Staten Island and got away with $2.25 million in bank funds.

-On March 30, 1976, $2.8 million was taken in a robbery of a Brink’s armored car in Montreal. In 1979, $2 million was stolen in a heist from Brink’s at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.

-On March 19, 1982, robbers who impersonated FBI agents stole more than $2 million from a Purolator armored-truck collection center near Pittsburgh.

In major jewel robberies, safe deposit boxes at the Palm Towers in Palm Beach, Fla., were robbed of $6 million in gems and another $1 million in other items in 1976.

A team of robbers hit the safe deposit boxes at New York’s Pierre Hotel in 1971, with more than $4 million in losses reported.

Five people were arrested in a $2.5 million robbery of precious metals and rare coins in Montgomery, Ala., in March 1982.