Over the years, there have been many great heists that have inspired action films through the ages and continue to serve as a reminder of the importance of professional security for your property. In 1983, London’s Heathrow Airport was the site of a robbery so notorious that is was touted as “the crime of the century” when it took place. This particular robbery was so significant, because it saw a record amount of gold bullion stolen and utilized some rough tactics that might have terrorized those involved at the time. Read on to learn more about the Brink’s-Mat robbery.
The robbery took place early in the day on November 26, 1983. At which time, 6 robbers broke into the Brink’s-Mat warehouse of the airport, gaining entry from security guard, Anthony Black. Once inside the warehouse, the robbers doused the security personnel in petrol and threatened to light them up with a match if they did not provide the combination for the vault. Originally, the heist was intended to procure £3 million in cash, but the robbers found a substantial sum of gold bullion instead along with a handful of diamonds and cash. The total value of the gold, diamonds, and cash stolen was about £26 million, a record for the time. The bullion taken was the property of Johnson Matthey Bankers, Ltd, which subsequently collapsed the following year.
Despite a tip from a couple in Bath just two days after the robbery, it took authorities 14 months to raid the property where the gold bullion was processed. One robber, Brian Robinson, was revealed by Anthony Black after questioning, and an arrest took place in December of 1983. Shortly after, two more men, Micky McAvoy and Kenneth Noye, faced charges related to the robbery. Much of the gold stolen has never been recovered, and four men associated with the robbery remain at large.
This article is part of HISTORY’S MOST HEINOUS HEISTS