What Is the Biggest Heist in World History?

The world has seen some of the most audacious heists in history that have left the authorities and people stunned. These heists are a testament to the human mind’s capabilities to plan and execute complex crimes. In this article, we take a look at the biggest heist in world history.

The Great Train Robbery

In 1963, a group of 15 robbers pulled off what is known as ‘The Great Train Robbery.’ They stopped a Royal Mail train traveling from Glasgow to London and stole 2.6 million pounds (equivalent to around 50 million pounds today). The robbers used false signals to stop the train, attacked the train driver, and made away with the money.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Theft

On March 18, 1990, two men disguised as police officers entered Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and stole artwork worth an estimated $500 million. The stolen artwork included paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Manet, and Degas. Despite extensive investigations by the authorities, none of the paintings have been recovered yet.

The Antwerp Diamond Heist

In February 2003, a group of thieves pulled off what is known as ‘The Antwerp Diamond Heist.’ They stole diamonds worth an estimated $100 million from Antwerp’s Diamond Center. The thieves got into the building through a tunnel they had dug from a nearby house’s cellar over several months.

The Central Bank of Iraq Heist

On March 18-19, 2003, just days after the US-led invasion of Iraq began; Saddam Hussein’s son Qusay Hussein ordered his men to loot approximately $1 billion from the Central Bank of Iraq in Baghdad. The cash was loaded onto three tractor-trailers and taken away.

The Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Burglary

In 2015, a group of elderly men pulled off one of the most sophisticated heists in British history. They broke into safety deposit boxes in London’s Hatton Garden area and stole valuables worth an estimated $300 million. The robbers used heavy equipment to drill through concrete walls and spent days inside the building before escaping with the loot.


These are just some of the biggest heists in world history. While some of these crimes remain unsolved to this day, others have resulted in arrests and convictions. These heists serve as reminders that criminals can go to great lengths to satisfy their greed, but ultimately, justice prevails.