The Lufthansa Heist


Date: December 12, 1978.
Location: Kennedy International Airport.
The Target: Cargo from the Lufthansa Airline amounting to $5.0 million in cash and $850,000 in jewelry making it the largest cast robbery in United States History.
The Gang: They were known as "Robert's Lounge Crew." It consisted of eight men who all specialized in theft and hijacking.
Planning: Using an insider, they knew exactly how to get into the cargo area and how many men would be working that day. The insider was employed for many years at Lufthansa Airlines and had valuable knowledge on the number of security guards, alarm systems, and police response. The insider would be the key to their success.
Strategy: On the day of the heist, a van and a passenger car was used to drive into the airport. Four men jumped out of the van while two stayed behind as look-outs. The four men went inside with guns and tied up all of the employees as well as the security guard. The passenger car was on standby and designated the "crash car." He was responsible for confusing the police in case they were discovered. The crash car would drive off in order for the van to get away. After the people were tied up and secured, they disarmed the alarm system and the van backed into the warehouse. They loaded up and took off. The money was transferred to a waiting "transport car." The van and the "crash car" were taken to a junkyard and destroyed. Although they used guns during the heist, not a single person was killed.