7. NORTHAMPTON NATIONAL BANK
In January 1876, New York thieves broke through the new security system of the National Bank in Massachusetts and carried out the biggest bank robbery in United States history, ever. With some careful planning that had seen some previous successful break-ins of a handful of other banks, the gang of thieves now headed for Northampton, MA. Codenamed “Rufus” the group set up their hideout in a school attic which afforded clear views of the town in all directions.
Observing the movements of the bank’s employees and the town’s law enforcement the gang believed they had only to contend with a night watchman but soon even he left for the night leaving the bank effectively theirs for the taking.
About a month after the heist, the thieves write a ransom note to the bank, offering to sell the “bonds, letters and papers to the smallest document” back to the bank for $150,000; the arrogant action spelled their downfall since the lengthy negotiations which followed allowed the police to track down the gang. The money on the other hand was never recovered.