While some people spend small fortunes to obtain luxury items such as watches and jewelry, there are others who will go even farther to get their hands on these goods, including theft. The Pink Panther gang has committed some of the most daring jewelry heists in the history and demonstrated they will strike nearly anywhere in the world, all the way from France to Japan. Their fame not only stems from their flashy robberies, but also their success, making off with an estimated $448 million worth of goods.
Most Pink Panther members are reported to come from Serbia and Montenegro. However, despite the gang’s efficiency at committing robberies, there is supposedly no real leader. Instead, there are said to be up to 800 Pink Panthers operating in a number of small groups. Most members have some sort of specialty, such as car jacking or skill in forging identities. There is also evidence that some members have military training as demonstrated by their attention to detail and extreme calm under pressure.
The Pink Panthers received their name after a London heist, where in a scene reminiscent of the original movie Return of the Pink Panther, some of the stolen diamonds were found stored in face lotion containers. The name has stuck and their legend has only grown since then.
Key to their success is the use of different methods each time they pull a caper. In perhaps one of their most brazen heists, they stole millions worth of jewelry in San-Tropez and then actually escaped in speedboats. In Dubai, they pulled off an incredibly fast robbery by actually driving Audi’s into a luxury mall, smashing them through a jewelry store, and then making off with millions in goods in less than a minute.
While police forces search for them across the globe, they have often come up empty-handed. The gang has become such a concern to investigators that Interpol even organizes annual conferences for law enforcement from around the world to share information on the gang.
Of course, there is a certain element of glamor to their heists. Many of their robberies take place in some of the most stunning vacation spots for the rich and famous in the world, such as Cannes. The gang is also known for using beautiful women to check out a location before they attempt a robbery. Given the spectacular manner the Pink Panthers have stolen watches and jewelry, their heists certainly would not be out of place in a Hollywood film.
Although some members of the gang have been captured, it is clear that the Pink Panther gang is still going strong. Between 2011 and 2013, approximately 23 robberies were attributed to the gang. The Pink Panthers are not only known for breaking into high-end jewelry stores, but are also known for breaking out fellow members from prison. In 2013, they freed three members from Swiss and French prisons on separate occasions.
It seems that as long as there are still diamonds, necklaces and watches, there will be someone there willing to go to desperate measures to steal them. For now, the Pink Panthers show no signs of going away. So be sure to keep your valuables under lock and key, because you never know who their next victim will be.