When a single thief made off with $136 million in jewelry last month in Cannes, France, it may have been the biggest jewelry heist ever.

Meanwhile art thieves are making more money than ever.

All in all, it's been a good year for stealing stuff.

We've rounded up the biggest and boldest thefts of the past 12 months. Thankfully, many of these crimes have been solved or brought to trial.

A $2.6 million diamond necklace vanished from a star-studded party during the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Despite 80 bodyguards, the diamond necklace went missing at the end of the night, The Daily Telegraph reported. At least 20 different models wore the $2.6 million piece, which belonged to a collection from Swiss jeweler De Grisogono.

The theft follows the disappearance of another million-dollar diamond necklace by designer Chopard during the same festival. French police are still investigating both occurrences, although they admit the festival is a favorite for jewel heists.




Postal workers and some of their family members were arrested for allegedly stealing $2.7 million from the Macedonian postal service.

The money had been taken in a series of six thefts at a Macedonian postal service branch in a suburb of Skopje.

The most recent one earlier this month led to the arrest of eight people including the head of postal security, two mailmen, and directors of the Postal Office, the Macedonia International News Agency (MINA) reported. The thieves made out with a combined almost €2 million, which they reportedly used to pay terrorists' "pensions" for fighting against Macedonian police.



An employee at a wine storage company allegedly swiped $2.7 million in vintage blends from his clients' lockers.

The employee in question was George Osumi, from Newport Beach, Calif. He had been working at Irvine's Legend Cellars when he was accused of replacing more than 1,000 bottles of first-growth Bordeaux from clients' private lockers with Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck, The Huffington Post reported.

Osumi allegedly swapped out the fine wine for a $2 Trader Joe's blend some time between January 2008 and June 2012, prosecutors alleged, and had a friend auction off the expensive ones. Osumi would then split the proceeds with his friend who, had no idea the wine was stolen, the Orange County District Attorney said. Osumi could face 16 years in prison.



Two Atlanta postal service workers smuggled almost $3 million in Treasury checks out of the office for personal use.

Gerald Eason admitted to conspiring with co-worker Deborah Fambro-Echols to steal cash and more than 1,300 U.S. Treasury checks from an Atlanta mail distribution facility, according to the Department of Justice.

Fambro-Echols also pleaded guilty. The checks, stolen between April 2011 and March 2012, were worth more than $2.8 million. Eason purportedly hoarded them at his apartment and planned to use them for personal expenses.



Police arrested a self-proclaimed "gypsy" family allegedly responsible for stealing at least $3 million in electronics.

The family, two men and two women from Chicago, were arrested in March for allegedly stealing technological equipment from stores including Apple and Best Buy all across the country, KTLA News reported. Police say the men would select the equipment and the women would smuggle it out of the store, concealed beneath oversized dresses.

In addition to one incident at Mac Mall, an electronics store in Torrance, Calif., they stand accused of 17 other burglaries in Los Angeles and Orange County. Investigators identified them as an organized crime group targeting retail stores throughout the country in California, Florida, and Washington.



Two men broke into a home in Boynton Beach, Fla. and stole about $3 million in watches and jewelry.

Police responded to an alarm call at the home late in July and found the home empty with a sliding glass door unlocked in the back. A collection of jewelry and watches worth about $3 million were missing, CBS12 reported. Two men were captured on a surveillance camera video at the Boynton Beach, Fla., home.

The surveillance camera footage showed two men and a car around the house at the time of the robbery, but police are still waiting for more information to identify the individuals in the video.



Thieves made off with almost $4 million in jewelry from one of Paris' fanciest department stores.

Wearing masks, wigs, and bulletproof vests, the thieves took 3 million euros—almost US$4 million—of De Beers diamonds from Printemps department store in February 2012, Women's Wear Daily reported.

The duo left quietly. In fact, many employees and customers had no idea a robbery had even occurred. Curiously enough, just 24 hours earlier some other armed jewel thieves managed to smuggle almost $50 million in cut and uncut diamonds out of the Brussels airport.



Thieves burst into a York, Penn., jewelry store, shot the owner, and stole millions in jewelry and Rolex watches.

The three men, two from Allentown, Penn., and one from Jamaica, N.Y., were indicted last July in connection with the robbery at White Jewelers. They're accused of stealing between $4 and $5 million worth of jewelry, including a number of Rolex watches.

Local newspaper The Morning Call reported that the owner of White Jewelers was shot three times during the robbery. One of the Allentown men was taken into custody just hours after the event when he showed up at a hospital in the Bronx with a gunshot wound to the stomach.



An original Monet as well as some pricey sculptures and jewelry worth $5 million disappeared from a California home in June.

The stolen items included sculptures by Andreas von Zadora Gerlof, four necklaces, and bracelet sets valued at around $100,000 each, as well as three paintings, including the Monet, NBC San Diego reported. The value of the theft amounted to about $5 million, leaving the owners devastated.

Rancho Santa Fe is well known for being an affluent community, with a median annual income of over $188,000.



In March, police put away three men allegedly responsible for the largest, single-incident copper theft to hit Arkansas.

Lafayette Woods Jr., Spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, called the event "probably the biggest theft of copper that we've seen in a single incident." The three accused men allegedly stripped $5.5 million in copper from Union Pacific trains, KATV News reported. 

Copper theft has become a national epidemic, costing the U.S. almost $1 billion ever year.



Five men allegedly stole almost $6 million by cutting holes in the rooftops of at least three Los Angeles banks.

It was "one of the most elaborate crimes" that L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca says he had ever seen, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Arrests occurred in April when undercover detectives monitoring a CitiBank in Diamond Bar closed in on the group of five men, former construction workers, with walkie-talkies who had allegedly cut their way inside using power tools.

"This is something out of a movie script," Sheriff Baca said at a news conference.



During the country's mounting political crisis, a Syrian bank lost almost one fifth of its capital.

The loss amounted to about $10 million stolen from the International Bank for Trade and Finance in Damascus in January, according to The National. The bank's chief executive points to an insider job.

Employees only noticed the money, of various currencies, was gone the following Sunday, and officials haven't made much progress identifying the culprits yet.

As Syria descended into political unrest earlier this year, bank officials reported similar thefts across the country. Officials admitted the crisis has drastically affected the country's business relations. 



Bank robbers tunneled through a three-foot thick wall to loot a strong room at Berliner Volksbank, leaving police baffled.

The thieves stole items from more than 100 safety deposit boxes; their loot could be worth an estimated £8.3 million, or $13.3 million, in cash, jewels, and other valuables, the Daily Mail reported.

Police believe the thieves began tunneling to the wall weeks before the robbery in January. The "professionally-dug" tunnel began at a nearby lock-up garage rented under a pseudonym. It measures four and a half feet high and three feet wide, supported by wooden shoring to keep it from collapsing. After the thieves left the strong room, they set fire to their tunnel, erasing any DNA evidence or fingerprints that could have been left.



Thieves swiped 10,000 barrels of valuable Canadian maple syrup, worth $18 million, from a warehouse near Quebec City.

Lt. Guy Lapointe, the police officer leading the investigation, told The New York Times the culprits were "inside guys" who rented another portion of the warehouse for an unrelated business, enabling them to drive large trucks into the building.

Over time the thieves emptied more than six million pounds of maple syrup, even leaving some dummy barrels filled with water to throw off the trail, some reports indicate. Quebec produces 90% of maple syrup products in Canada, making the theft far from insignificant.



Eight police impersonators snatched $50 million in diamonds from a plane on the Brussels Airport tarmac in February.

The masked gunmen drove right onto the tarmac at Brussels Airport and intercepted the stash of cut and uncut diamonds that had just been loaded onto a Helvetic Airways jet bound for Zurich, the Los Angeles Times reported.

They escaped through a hole cut in the airport fence and later abandoned one of their getaway vehicles, which was found burned out.

Thirty-one individuals in three countries were tied to the crime and arrested. While it's unclear whether all of the precious gems were recovered, a Belgian prosecutor said that some diamonds reclaimed in Switzerland are definitely from the same robbery.



A Miami man pleaded guilty this year to absconding with $90 million in prescription pills—the biggest theft in the history of Connecticut.

Amed and Amaury Villa, two brothers, allegedly broke into a warehouse owned by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co. in 2010 by scaling an exterior wall and cutting a hole in the roof. They used ropes to lower themselves to the floor and disable alarms before forklifting huge pallets of drugs into their getaway vehicle. Amed pleaded guilty in July, but his brother remains silent, Fox News reported. 

According to the Star Tribune, the total damage of the theft is about $90 million worth of antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and a chemotherapy drug used to treat lung cancer.



In October, seven paintings worth $66.5 million vanished in an instant from the Netherlands' Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam.

A Christie's Amsterdam representative said that the paintings, including some by Picasso, Monet, and Matisse which thieves snatched in less than two minutes, could be worth €50 million (US$66.5 million) or more.

Sadly, the historic works may not ever be recovered; last month a Romanian woman, the mother of one of the alleged thieves, claimed to have burned the works in her oven. Romanian museum officials are analyzing the ash from the oven to verify the woman's claim.



A thief nabbed $136 million worth of jewelry in broad daylight from a hotel in Cannes, France last month.

He had entered the ritzy Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes through a side door and escaped with a suitcase full of diamonds from a highly publicized jewelry exhibit by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev.

There were just three private security guards on duty at the time, though it is unclear whether they were also armed. The robbery, which took place in minutes, was one of the history's biggest jewelry thefts.

Coincidentally, the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel is where Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 film "To Catch a Thief" was set—a film that also centers around a jewelry heist.



BONUS: More thieves in the French Riviera nicked jewels and expensive watches from a hotel in Nice, France.

They targeted expensive watches kept  in a bedroom at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée hotel in Nice, France and escaped on scooters. This incident occurred on August 16, barely a month after the record-breaking $136 million jewel theft at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel, Leader-Post reported. 

Unlike the theft at the Carlton, carried out by a lone gunman, The Telegraph described a "gang" that brandished their guns at hotel staff and took a number of watches guarded in a display case. Police speculate that the Pink Panthers, an organized crime ring, may be the culprits. Because the theft is so recent, the exact value of the stolen watches remains a mystery.



Now here's why crime doesn't pay.

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