A Simple Security Lesson We Can Learn from Famous Gold Heists

It’s fun to watch clever gold heists happening in movies like “The Italian Job.” It’s fun to read about gold thefts too – as long as the gold that was stolen didn’t belong to you.

Here are the stories of three of the most intriguing gold heists in history.

 Image of a gold vault door, symbolizing the security dangers of sending large amounts of gold to be recycled and refined.

Crooks Pulled a Classic Switcheroo in “The Great Gold Robbery”

In 1855, 91 kilograms of gold were stolen from a shipment that was being transported by train and boat from London to Boulogne, France. The gold had been “securely” packed in trunks that were each protected by two locks that could only be opened with keys that were in the possession of two different people in different locations. To assure that the gold was still safe, the trunks were weighed when they arrived in France, then shipped on to Boulogne.

Sounds secure, right? But crooks found a way to steal the gold anyway. When the trunks reached Boulogne and were opened, most of the gold had been stolen and replaced by lead to avoid detection. How did the thieves do it? No one really knows - the crime has never been solved.

Gold Vanished in “The Brinks Mat Gold Heist”

In 1983, a gang of masked robbers broke into the Brinks Mat high-security storage facility at London’s Heathrow Airport and tied up the guards who were working there. The crooks were expecting to carry away loads of cash but when they opened a vault, they discovered nearly three tons of gold ingots. They loaded it all up and drove out of the airport with the bottom of their van scraping on the pavement. Although some of the robbers were convicted and served time for their crime, not all the gold has been recovered.

Crooks Robbed Smugglers in “The Summer Bliss Robbery”

Crooks robbing smugglers? It is a classic example of the old saying that “there is no honor among thieves.” In 2012, a group of robbers disguised as police officers boarded a boat called Summer Bliss that was docked at a wharf in Suriname. They knew that a large quantity of gold was on the boat and about to be smuggled to a buyer overseas. The thieves overpowered the smugglers and drove off with gold bars that weighed an estimated 216 kilograms. Some of that gold has since been found by law-enforcement agencies, but not all of it. And the identity of the even bigger crook that expected the Summer Bliss to deliver his smuggled gold has never been determined.

The Lesson for You Is . . .

You might have noticed that all three of those heists were possible because a lot of gold was present in one location so that it could be transported. The simple lesson for all of us is to ship small quantities of gold, gold alloys and other precious metals separately and securely, and covered by insurance.

If you want to know how to ship your gold securely to us for testing and recycling, give us a call at 800-426-2344.

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Why Your Recyclable Gold Will Always Be in Demand