Antwerp Diamond Heist
The Antwerp Diamond Heist, dubbed the "heist of the century", was a theft of loose diamonds, gold, and other jewellery valued at more than $100 million. The heist took place during the weekend of February 15–16, 2003, in the Antwerp Diamond Centre, located in the centre of the gem district in Antwerp, Belgium. The Antwerp centre heist was the largest diamond heist in history until surpassed by the Schiphol Airport diamond heist on 25 February 2005 and estimated at €109 million ($118 million).
The vault that housed the diamonds is situated two floors below the Diamond Centre. It was protected by multiple security mechanisms, including a lock with 100 million possible combinations, infrared heat detectors, a seismic sensor, Doppler radar, and a magnetic field. The diamond centre itself had a private security force.
Leonardo Notarbartolo had rented a sparsely furnished office for approximately 25,000 Belgian francs ($700) per month in the diamond centre two and a half years prior to the robbery. It included a safe deposit box located in the vault beneath the building. It also included a tenant ID card that gave him 24-hour access to the building. There, he posed as an Italian diamond merchant in order to gain credibility. After the robbery, Notarbartolo and his team stole the security footage to conceal their identities. More than 123 out of 160 safe-deposit boxes were forced open, each of which was made of steel and copper and had both a key lock and combination lock.
The theft is believed to have been carried out by a five-man team led by Leonardo Notarbartolo. Notarbartolo had rented space in the diamond center, and was arrested after being connected to the crime by DNA evidence from a partially eaten sandwich found near the crime scene along with video tapes from the diamond centre. He was found guilty of orchestrating the heist. He is considered to be the leader of a ring of Italian thieves called "La Scuola di Torino" (The School of Turin). who carried out the crime. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but has since been released on parole.
Notarbartolo claimed in an interview with Wired magazine that a diamond merchant hired them for the heist. He claims that they actually stole approximately €18 million ($20 million) worth of loot, and that the robbery was part of an insurance fraud.
The heist is the subject of the book Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Scott Andrew Selby and Greg Campbell. 
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