I'm a sucker for these heist stories. Too many times watching "Oceans 11" and "The Italian Job" as a kid have left me totally convinced I could pull one off—even though I'd definitely be undone by accidentally locking a door or forgetting to put batteries in a flashlight or some other seemingly pointless detail that would derail the entire operation. It's always the smallest things in these, you know?
(Ah, who are we kidding. I'd be shot as soon as I started the crime.)
Eight masked men went to Zaventem, Belgium's international airport late last night, and did not forget the batteries to the flashlight. After driving police cars through a security fence and onto the airport tarmac, the robbers boarded a Swiss-bound plane, found packets of diamonds, and stole what has been valued at either $50 million or $350 million worth of gems. We're going to roll with the $350 million figure because that's cooler.
The robbers brandished machine guns, but like any good heist man, they did not shoot or injure anyone. (Clooney isn't killing anyone in the "Oceans" movies, after all.) It also only took the burglers five minutes to recover the jewels. And, all in all, the entire operation took just 11 minutes. Their getaway car? Immediately torched. From the WSJ:
Eight masked men with machine guns held the ground staff, crew and passengers at gunpoint as they forced security workers to open the plane's cargo door. The men selectively removed at least 120 packets of diamonds, Ms. Van Wymersch said. The vehicles then sped away. No shots were fired and nobody was hurt in the theft, she said.
[Prosecutor Ine] Van Wymersch declined to place a value on the stolen gems. Another person familiar with the events said the jewels are worth at least $350 million.
"It was well-prepared and very professional," said Ms. Van Wymersch. "The whole operation took just a few minutes."
One vehicle was later found thoroughly burned and "was probably used" in the theft, Ms. Van Wymersch said. "At this stage of the investigation, everything is still possible."
Call off the investigation now. Those guys are in Tahiti already. And get Ben Affleck on the phone. This is all leading toward a lesser, Euro version of "The Town" starring Gérard Depardieu as the crusty crew leader, down for one more heist but then HE'S OUT. "The Artist's" Jean Dujardin and "Oceans 12's" Vincent Cassel are in the crew. And the Belgian head of airport security? A flustered Stellan Skarsgård. Took care of all the work for you, guys. I'll take my royalties in two years.