The Real Pink Panther Gang
- Heists from Hollywood films
- Cool escapes
- Over $500 Million in stolen diamonds
The Real Pink Panthers is the name given by Interpol to an international jewel thief network who are responsible for some of the most audacious thefts in criminal history. They are responsible for what have been termed some of the most glamorous heists ever. They have targeted several countries and continents, and include Japan’s biggest ever robbery in their list of heists.
The Pink Panthers’ methods are daring and quick. A case that made the headlines in 2007 saw gang members drive two cars into a shopping mall in Dubai and through the window of a jewellery store. The robbery took less than one minute and the gang made away with jewellery worth an estimated EUR 11 million.
It is claimed the group is responsible for over US$500 million in bold robberies in Dubai, Switzerland, Japan, France, Liechenstein, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Monaco. Law enforcement suspect their involvement in the robbery of the jewellery store Harry Winston in Paris, on December 9, 2008. The thieves escaped with more than €80 million worth of jewellery.
Many gang members are known to originate from the former Yugoslavia, but they work across countries and continents, making the exchange of police information such as fingerprints, photographs and DNA essential in tracking them down.
The Pink Panthers are also known for their daring escapes and creative break-ins. In St Tropez, they robbed a store dressed in flowery shirts and then escaped on a speed boat. In another high-profile heist, the gang drove a pair of stolen limousines through a window into a Dubai mall, taking watches and other valuables worth over £8million. In yet another robbery, they dressed up as women and stole over $100million (£60million) worth of jewelry from a Harry Winston store in Paris, using Mission Impossible-style prosthetic make-up as a disguise.
Several gang members have been imprisoned. However, their group is thought to consist of over two hundred members, therefore, most have simply gotten away with their crimes. Their total haul is now believed to be in the billions of dollars. The alleged leader of the gang, Dragan Mikic, escaped from prison using a rope ladder, in 2005, whilst Pink Panthers fired machine guns at the prison wall. He has been on the run ever since.