How a Half-Eaten Sandwich Solved the World's Most Expensive Heist

Filed under Gemstones    Written by Neil    Published on

Over $100 million-worth diamonds were plundered from Diamant Museum, Antwerp, Belgium - the world's largest diamond safekeeping house. On February 15-16, 2003, Leonardo Notarbatol led a group of brilliant looters called the School of Turin to carry out the most expensive diamond heist in the history. 

Well-orchestrated, the robbery hasn't been noticed until the following day when the police found safety boxes, jewels, cut and rough diamonds, and other items littering the floor. 123 out of 160 vaults in Antwerp were ransacked, along with the authenticity records of the gems, which would make them easily resalable. To set up a robbery this huge, the team must have a security expert, a getaway specialist, a safe cracker and of course, a mastermind smarter than Lupin the Third. 

So, how did the police come know who did it? 

Most Expensive Diamond HeistIf you're the investigator, you could have easily deduced that the theft was an inside job since there was no forced entry and all guards, alarms and high-tech security were easily bypassed. But tracking down the suspects among all occupants and personnel who have access to the vaults and keys would be a daunting, if not perplexing, task.

Guess what led the police to pinpoint the gang behind the heist?

Leonardo Notarbatol's DNA traced from a half-eaten sandwich inside a bag ditched near Antwerp's main road.

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