How two thieves stole $500 million of art from a Boston museum in 81 minutes

As a fan of Donald Westlake's (aka Richard Stark's) Parker heist novels, I enjoyed this video about one of the biggest unsolved art heists in history, in which two men broke into a museum and made off with $500 million worth of art. They still haven't been caught and a $10 million reward is still on the table.

Around midnight on March 18, 1990 two men in fake police uniforms knocked on the door of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Only two guards were in the museum. One guard came to the door and the fake cops told him they were responding to a disturbance in the museum courtyard. The guard buzzed them in. The cops then told the guard that there was a warrant out for his arrest and handcuffed him. When the second guard arrived the robbers "arrested" him, too. They took both guards to the basement and locked them in a room. The thieves went back upstairs and started cutting paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Degas and other masters out of their frames. This triggered alarms, but the alarms went to the unattended guard's desk, not the police. One of the paintings, Vermeer's The Concert, is thought to be the most valuable stolen object in the world, worth over $200 million. The men loaded the loot into their car and drove off, and no one has heard from them since.

These crooks did wrong, but I can't help admiring this magnificent heist.

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