Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology (1985, Mexico City, Mexico)
Over 140 valuable figurines of Aztec and Mayan origin were stolen while guards were preoccupied with thoughts of Christmas on the eve of the celebration. The security system was reportedly broken for months before the robbery and as a result, the thieves met zero resistance. Most of the objects were small and made of gold or jade (an obsidian monkey was worth $20 million alone), and the thieves made a cool getaway, entering and exiting through air ducts.
Musée D’Art Moderne (2010, Paris, France)
Modern art is not for everyone, but anything that can be monetized is heist-worthy. In this one man job, $131 million worth of art by Picasso and Matisse was looted overnight. Left behind was a sheared-off padlock and broken glass where the burglar entered through a window. The French art world felt embarrassed by the ease of the crime, since the museum did not have a functioning alarm system and was watch over by only a few guards.
Plymouth Mail Truck Robbery (1962, Plymouth, MA, USA)
Four men dressed as police officers waited for their prey at the end of an elaborate ruse involving phony construction workers and traffic detours. Trapped in a dead end, the security guards handed $1.5 million destined for Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank to the “police officers.” The (real) police identified one suspect willing to testify, but he mysteriously disappeared before revealing what police believed was a six-man team of career criminals. The suspects were never charged and none of the money was ever recovered.