Balls, Brains and Badassery: An Ode to the Heist

Posted on February 19, 2013

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D.B. Cooper: King of the Heist.

D.B. Cooper: King of the Heist.

Everybody loves a good caper: they keep superheroes employed, pompous bank executives nervously watching security monitors and Antwerp diamond wholesalers in a constant state of paranoid agitation.

Trejo: Bad Ass Extraordinaire.

Trejo: Bad Ass Extraordinaire.

The best heists usually involve Danny Trejo, some tunneling, a motorcycle, months of patient surveillance work, blueprints, an elaborate escape plan that may or may not involve sky diving, and always culminate in perplexed and frustrated security officers smoking cigarettes and puzzling around an abandoned burned out vehicle a few blocks from the crime scene. Happily, last night’s audacious $50 million diamond heist from the Brussels airport is no exception. It was over in a matter of minutes, not a shot was fired and eight testicle-laden men vanished into the night. Well-done, boys.

The Ex-Presidents, from Point Break

The Ex-Presidents

Those who dedicate their lives to big time jewel heists, museum robberies and bank take-downs provide we, the humble working masses, a glimmer of hope in our otherwise meaningless existences spent serving the Man. From Robin Hood to DB Cooper, we love ourselves a rogue criminal character risking it all to champion the human spirit and avoid the death by pathos to which the rest of us slowly succumb as we sit in gridlock day in and day out in our steel sardine cans on the 5, twice a day, every day, forever, until we die, alone.

I have absolutely no idea what one actually does with heaping sacks of rough diamonds, famous jewels or priceless works of stolen art in order to make them pay off, but someone somewhere obviously does, and kudos to them.

Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) plotting, planning and scheming a last massive heist in HEAT.

Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) plotting, planning and scheming a last massive heist in HEAT.

Fortunately for us armchair Neil McCauleys, 2013 is already proving to be a bumper year for ballsy capers. On New Year’s Eve in Paris, while police were distracted by the throngs of revelers on the Champs Elysees, four masked men quietly broke into the Apple store behind the Paris Opera House and made off with over $13 million worth of Mac gadgets. (That’s right: thirteen million dollars.) Barely two weeks later, two men raided the Rox jewelry store in Edinburgh and made off through traffic on a Honda 650 motorcycle with an axe and over $15 million worth of jewelry in hand. Last night’s daring and well-planned Brussels diamond heist (again, that was $50 million) hints that the best may yet be to come.

Keep plotting, keep planning and keep dreaming, people – and enjoy some classic heist scenes from some killer flicks.

Posted in: Jesús Ibáñez