Brussels Airport Diamond Heist Is Awesome, But Still Illegal

I’d like to think there’s a Belgian word representing the concept of “I know it’s wrong, baby, but it feels so right.” That might begin to explain the complicated reactions of many heist movie fans to news that armed, masked men raided the Brussels airport on Monday evening and made off with $50 million in diamonds marked for shipment to Switzerland:

The raid at Brussels airport happened just before 8pm on Monday. The heavily armed men drove through the airport security fence in two vehicles, a Mercedes van and a car, and made straight for a Brink’s delivery van. The staff were loading safes full of diamonds on to a Swiss plane bound for Zurich. The gunmen quickly filled their vehicles with the boxes and fled through the same broken security barrier. No shots were fired. A burned-out van was later found nearby. The raid lasted just three minutes. The exact value of brute diamonds, believed to hail from Antwerp, was uncertain, but estimates put it at £30m ($50m). “What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum,” Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre told the Belgian VRT network.

Awesome. Ahem. I mean wrong. Obviously wrong. Bad, naughty diamond thieves. But … awesome.

Maybe if we’re lucky, the heist will actually be an elaborate maneuver to expose one of the last remaining Nazi villains in the world. Maybe it’s just Gene Hackman looking to pul off one last score—and are we going to blame him for that? No. But if movie history tells us anything, it’s this: Those Belgian airport thieves should probably get real nervous if they hear “Layla” being played anytime in the next couple of months.

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