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Five great bank robberies

Banks have been in existence since Babylonia. The deposits in these first banks were cattle, not money. It was not until the Middle Ages that the banking changed to become more like the kind we are familiar with today. The first bank robbery occurred in 1831 with the robber, Edward Smith, stealing $245,000. These robberies have gotten bigger ever since. Read this article to learn more about bank robberies.

1800s

Jesse James, his brother Frank, Jim, Cole and Jim Younger with other colleagues, targeted the Great Northern Bank in Northfield, Minnesota. The heist was not a success: a bank employee refused to open the safe when commanded, a passer-by called attention to the robbery, and two of the thieves died at the townspeople's hand. They only managed to steal $29.00. It was not a good day.

1900s

The German army robbed banks in Europe and placed the loot in Berlin's Reichsbank. Despite moving the loot to the mines in Merkers when the US Third Army, the loot was discovered by the American soldiers, much to the German's dismay. Only by 1997 was most of the loot returned to the rightful owners. In 1976, the British Bank of the Middle East was robbed by a group affiliated with the PLO. They blasted through the wall of a Catholic church to access the bank, then hired "safe crackers" to open the safe and the security boxes within. The bank robbers took up to $50 million in bonds, stocks, jewellery and more. The bank robbers got away. In 1992, ten bank robbers stole 160 million francs from the Bank of France which was located in Toulon. They took a bank guard and his family hostage, strapped explosives to the guard, and forced him to open the vault. The bank robbers were arrested, aided by a bank employee and not the guard who had participated in the robbery.

2000s

In 2003, Iraq was home of the most expensive bank robbery ever. Professional bank robbers stole $250 million dollars. Moreover, discovered after the robbery was a note written and signed by Saddam Hussein to withdraw $920 million dollars to be given to his son, Quassay. Quassay was observed on the day of the robbery, 18 March 2003, loading the money into a van he had hired.

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