telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Read This: Art of the Steal: On the Trail of World’s Most Ingenious Thief by Barbecue Bros
May 13, 2010, 10:52 am
Filed under: Read This | Tags: , ,

Another fascinating article from Wired (hmm, maybe I shouldn’t let my subscription expire after all…), this time about a master thief named Gerald Blanchard, who had a “savantlike ability to exploit security flaws.” He was eventually caught by two relentless police officers who tracked him across continents while set up in a makeshift office in a bar in his hometown of Winnipeg, Canada.

The plane slowed and leveled out about a mile aboveground. Up ahead, the Viennese castle glowed like a fairy tale palace. When the pilot gave the thumbs-up, Gerald Blanchard looked down, checked his parachute straps, and jumped into the darkness. He plummeted for a second, then pulled his cord, slowing to a nice descent toward the tiled roof. It was early June 1998, and the evening wind was warm. If it kept cooperating, Blanchard would touch down directly above the room that held the Koechert Diamond Pearl. He steered his parachute toward his target.

A couple of days earlier, Blanchard had appeared to be just another twentysomething on vacation with his wife and her wealthy father. The three of them were taking a six-month grand European tour: London, Rome, Barcelona, the French Riviera, Vienna. When they stopped at the Schloss Schönbrunn, the Austrian equivalent of Versailles, his father-in-law’s VIP status granted them a special preview peek at a highly prized piece from a private collection. And there it was: In a cavernous room, in an alarmed case, behind bulletproof glass, on a weight-sensitive pedestal — a delicate but dazzling 10-pointed star of diamonds fanned around one monstrous pearl. Five seconds after laying eyes on it, Blanchard knew he would try to take it.



1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

[…] Valley and a $40 million haul before he was finally caught. Not nearly as long or in-depth as “Art of the Steal,”  a previously posted theft-related article, but pretty intriguing nonetheless. From the May […]

Pingback by Read This: “To Catch a Thief” « telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: