Richard Pudlicott vs Edward Longshanks
In 1303 England saw one of its most daring and expensive robberies ever. The robbery was perpetrated by a less than fortunate wool-merchant, heavily indebted to the London Jewish community, named Richard Pudlicott. After recruiting many high-ranking members of the church of England, Pudlicott set about the arduous task of chiselling his way through the thick stone walls of Westminster Abbey. He planted thick shrubbery outside the walls for cover and to muffle the sound. After months of work, Pudlicott found himself in a room stuffed full of gems and florins and after two days of hiding in place, made off with over £100,000 worth of loot.
While in prison for murdering a security guard, inmate Robert Solis spent his time writing poetry and planning his next big crime. Solis seduced a twenty-two year old by the name of Heather Tallchief using what she referred to as ‘hypnosis’ and ‘sexual magic’ and had her lined up to be the key player in his scheme. She got herself a job working for the security company that would execute cash in transit and would deal with money transfers between Circus Circus and its bank and when the time was right, she made off with a cash-laden truck and emptied it out with Solis. They made it to Miami with $2.5m and had a child together before Solis ran away leaving Tallchief with nothing but $1,000 and a baby.
The Jules Rimet Trophy Heist
Lifting the World Cup is every international football team’s dream. But in 1966, that dream was almost put on hold for the England team who would go on to win it that year. The competition was due to be held in England and the trophy was transported to an exhibit in Westminster ahead of the competition. One day during a guard change a group of criminals managed to break open the security case and the back door and get away with the prize. After an anonymous phone call was passed on to the police, a successful sting operation caught a man known only as Jackson. Jackson was supposedly only a middleman and the trophy remained unrecovered though. A week later a man walking his dog, Pickles, found the trophy wrapped up in some brown paper and returned it to his local police station for a total of £6,000 in rewards and a dinner with the England team.
The Santa Claus Robbery of 1927
Recent parolee, Marshall Ratliff, hatched a devious plan to use the holiday spirit in his favour while making off with a stack of cash. He dressed himself as Santa Claus and entertained children on his way to a bank before entering where three accomplices were waiting for an ambush. The group brandished pistols and forced the manager to empty the safe into Santa’s sack. While the robbery was nominally successful, the whole gang were either caught or killed not long after.
The Great Horse Robbery of 1983
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of horse racing knows the name Shergar and anyone with even a passing knowledge of Shergar knows that the horse was the subject of one of the most shocking robberies of all time. In 1983 a champion Irish racehorse by the name of Shergar was horsenapped from its stud by six well regimented and well armed men. While the heist itself went off without a hitch, it’s widely believed that due to a ransom not being paid, Shergar was disposed of by his captors to dispose of the evidence.