25 Interesting And Unbelievable Stories About Stolen Items

Although you are surely a law abiding citizen, the world of robbers and thieves almost definitely intrigues you. It is a place that doesn’t follow the regular rules of civil society. Things don’t belong to you because the law says they do. They belong to you because you are powerful and you had the means to take them. This, perhaps not surprisingly, makes for great drama, which is something that Hollywood has certainly picked up on. Although things get stolen all the time, usually never to be seen again, this list is going to be about the unbelievable heists. These are the things that got stolen, returned, stolen again, and then returned again. They are incredible stories of items that were stolen and the people that owned them, stole them, and found them again. Whether it is a police agency or a ring of thieves, you will probably be surprised by some of these stories. From the Mona Lisa to Charlie Chaplin, some of these stories are entertaining while others are downright appalling. All of them, however, are quite surprising and almost certainly you will learn something before you finish. These are 25 interesting and unbelievable stories about stolen items!

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Featured Image: Rob Pongsajapan via Flickr

25

If you bought or rented a DVD recently you had to sat through an anti-piracy ad. It recently emerged that the music on the ad was actually pirated (Melchior Reitveldt vs Buma/Stemra music).

If you bought or rented a DVD recently you had to sat through an anti-piracy ad. It recently emerged that the music on the ad was actually pirated (Melchior Reitveldt vs Buma/Stemra music)Source: abc.net.au, Image: wikipedia
24

While on a hunting expedition Theodore Roosevelt’s boat was stolen. In spite of freezing temperatures, Teddy and his friends built a raft, sailed down the river, and captured the thieves several days later.

While on a hunting expedition Theodore Roosevelt’s boat was stolen. In spite of freezing temperatures, Teddy and his friends built a raft, sailed down the river, and captured the thieves several days laterSource: nps.gov, Image: wikipedia
23

Picasso’s The Weeping Woman was once stolen from a gallery in Australia with the ransom demanding more funding for the arts. The painting was later found in a train station but the thief was never caught.

Picasso’s The Weeping Woman was once stolen from a gallery in Australia with the ransom demanding more funding for the arts. The painting was later found in a train station but the thief was never caughtSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
22

When Julian Altman died, he told his wife that the violin he had been playing for almost his whole life was actually a stolen Stradivarius violin that had been made in 1713.

When Julian Altman died, he told his wife that the violin he had been playing for almost his whole life was actually a stolen Stradivarius violin that had been made in 1713.Source: nytimes, Image: wikipedia
21

A .45 caliber handgun was stolen from President Taft by Carl Panzram and then used in several murders.

A .45 caliber handgun was stolen from President Taft by Carl Panzram and then used in several murdersSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
20

After drugs and weapons, stolen artifacts is the most profitable sector of the black market.

After drugs and weapons, stolen artifacts is the most profitable sector of the black marketSource: smithsonianmag.com, Image: wikipedia
19

There is a gang called "The Pink Panthers" that is known for their Hollywood style jewelry heists and according to Interpol they are responsible for the most audacious thefts in history. One criminologist even described them as "artists".

There is a gang called "The Pink Panthers" that is known for their Hollywood style jewelry heists and according to Interpol they are responsible for the most audacious thefts in history. One criminologist even described them as "artists".Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
18

Malaysian authorities were confused by a spate of payphone thefts until they found out that local fisherman were using them to catch fish by emitting an attractive frequency through the phone.

Malaysian authorities were confused by a spate of payphone thefts until they found out that local fisherman were using them to catch fish by emitting an attractive frequency through the phoneSource: deseretnews.com, Image: wikipedia
17

In 2003, a 727 belonging to Florida-based Aerospace Sales and Leasing was stolen from an airfield in Angola and never seen again.

In 2003, a 727 belonging to Florida-based Aerospace Sales and Leasing was stolen from an airfield in Angola and never seen againSource: airspacemag.com, Image: wikipedia
16

Mr Roger's car was once stolen but the thief returned it when he realized whose car he had stolen.

Mr Roger's car was once stolen but the thief returned it when he realized who's car he had stolenSource: cnn.com, Image: wikipedia
15

The CEO of LifeLock, an ID protection company, was so sure of his product that he made is social security number public. Todd Davis (the CEO) subsequently had his identity stolen 13 times and his company had to pay $12 million for false advertising.

The CEO of LifeLock, an ID protection company, was so sure of his product that he made is social security number public. Todd Davis (the CEO) subsequently had his identity stolen 13 times and his company had to pay $12 million for false advertisingSource: tomsguide.com, Image: wikipedia
14

Mexican General Santa Anna's leg was stolen by the 4th Infantry and is now on display in the Illinois State Military Museum. Although Mexico has requested its return, the museum refuses.

Mexican General Santa Anna's leg was stolen by the 4th Infantry and is now on display in the Illinois State Military Museum. Although Mexico has requested its return, the museum refusesSource: roadsideamerica.com, Image: wikipedia
13

Because DNA evidence collected by the German police from the scene of a jewelry heist matched two twins - Hassan and Abbas O. (under German law their last name cannot be released), and both denied to stealing anything, they had to be released even though the DNA said that one of them almost certainly did it.

Because DNA evidence collected by the German police from the scene of a jewelry heist matched two twins - Hassan and Abbas O. (under German law their last name cannot be released), and both denied to stealing anything, they had to be released even though the DNA said that one of them almost certainly did it.Source: time.com, Image: wikipedia
12

Mile marker 420 on Interstate 70 was replaced by officials in Colorado with a mile marker reading 419.99. This was done because the 420 mile marker was stolen so often.

Mile marker 420 on Interstate 70 was replaced by officials in Colorado with a mile marker reading 419.99. This was done because the 420 mile marker was stolen so oftenSource: nydailynews.com
11

In the United States, stolen items and money earned from drug dealing are taxable.

In the United States, stolen items and money earned from drug dealing are taxableSource: msn.com, Image: pixabay
10

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency there have been 18 incidents of highly enriched uranium or plutonium being stolen in the last decade.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency there have been 18 incidents of highly enriched uranium or plutonium being stolen in the last decadeSource: wikipedia, Image: pixabay
9

In 1995, Shawn Nelson, a US Army veteran struggling with depression, stole a tank and drove it around downtown San Diego until police shot him.

In 1995, Shawn Nelson, a US Army veteran struggling with depression, stole a tank and drove it around downtown San Diego until police shot himSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
8

The largest bank heist in history happened when $1 billion was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq...one day before the US started bombing.

The largest bank heist in history happened when $1 billion was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq...one day before the US started bombingSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
7

In 1978, thieves held the body of Charlie Chaplin for ransom but his widow refused to pay it because she said "Charlie would have found it ridiculous".

In 1978, thieves held the body of Charlie Chaplin for ransom but his widow refused to pay it because she said "Charlie would have found it ridiculous"Source: bbc.co.uk, Image: wikipedia
6

The Guinness Book of World Records is famous for holding one record...it is the most stolen book from public libraries.

The Guinness Book of World Records is famous for holding one record...it is the most stolen book from public librariesxSource: news.dm, Image: wikipedia
5

In 1911, when the Mona Lisa was stolen, police arrested Pablo Picasso.

In 1911, when the Mona Lisa was stolen, police arrested Pablo PicassoSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
4

Magic tricks are not covered by copyright law. Which means you can steal them...

Magic tricks are not covered by copyright law. Which means you can steal them...Source: techdirt.com, Image: wikipedia
3

A security guard is paid to sit next a statue of John Lennon in Havana, Cuba. He is tasked with adding or removing Lennon's glasses according to the requests of tourists. This is to prevent people from stealing the glass (which happened a lot in the past).

A security guard is paid to sit next a the statue of John Lennon in Havana, Cuba and put is glasses on/off when requested because otherwise they are stolen so oftenSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
2

In 2008, a beach in Jamaica disappeared overnight when nearly 500 truckloads of sand were stolen.

In 2008, a beach in Jamaica disappeared overnight when nearly 500 truckloads of sand were stolenSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
1

In 1987, a small radioactive device was stolen from a hospital in Brazil. Unfortunately for the thieves (who didn't know it was radioactive) four people died and 200 were poisoned.

In 1987, a small radioactive device was stolen from a hospital in Brazil. Unfortunately for the thieves (who didn't know it was radioactive) four people died and 200 were poisonedSource: toxipedia.com, Image: blazingfires13 via deviantart


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