Top 10 Thieves that Became Famous

Stealing is immoral but to some people, crime is an art rather than an act of being negative. While the media has indeed helped some of these thieves have a cult following in the modern day world, their existence is subject to one’s own imagination, interpretation and fascination.

Nonetheless, the reality of the matter is that some of them are truly legends in their own right, even though most of them don’t have a happy ending. This article will tell you about the 10 famous robbers of all time.


  • 1

    Robin Hood

    The savior of the poor, Robin Hood lives in the memory of most people, as one the most famous robbers ever. Although there is no definite proof of his existence, he is one of the few thieves idolized by movie markers due to his charismatic personality and rebellious nature.

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  • 2


    Although not as famous as Robin Hood, Veerapan kept the Indian authorities guessing for more than 20 years. He worked for the poor people but his growing reputation was bound to catch the public and police eye, which slapped U.S $ 1.1 million on his head. He was eventually caught and killed in October 2004.

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  • 3

    Bill Mason

    A self proclaimed jewel thief, Bill Mason worked tirelessly for 30 years between 1960 and 1990 before being caught. Commonly known to everyone as an estate manager, he confessed about his true occupation is his autobiography ‘Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief’ - a must read.

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  • 4

    Frank William Abagnale, Jr

    Remember the movie starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks, where the former played the role of the great Frank William. This con artist started dodging clients or FBI for that matter at the early age of 16. He mastered the skills of check forgery and took false identities to pursue a life full of pleasure and woman. He was finally caught and after serving his sentence, worked with the FBI and taught them the art of catching players like himself.

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  • 5

    Bonnie and Clyde

    Bonnie and Clyde remain among the famous couple thieves known to the public. After a patchy early life for both, they met at a party and the rest they say was history. Both committed burglaries, despite remaining close to their families. However, their adventure was short lived after both were killed in a mass shooting.

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  • 6

    Francois Villon

    Good man turned bad, Francois Villon was a well known poet to most. After killing a priest, he robbed churches, and communal offices. He was finally condemned to be hanged but that punishment never materialized. His sentenced was reduced and he vanished like as if he never existed.

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  • 7

    Doris Payne

    Doris Payne – a class act. She owned the art of stealing jewelry and valuable items from a store. Her formula was simple – enter a shop, ask the shop dealers to display all sorts of jewelries so that they get confused and pick the desired one for herself without even giving a slightest of hints. She was eventually caught after trying to steal a coat.

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  • 8

    Albert Spaggiari

    “Without weapons, nor hatred, nor violence”, Spaggiari’s famous notion after he was caught for a bank heist in France.  Disgruntled by his middle-class life, Spaggiari decided to steal valuables up to $60 million, and he accomplished that with the help of fellow professionals. He was eventually  caught but ran away during the trial. Albert eventually died of  throat cancer at the age of 52.

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  • 9

    Vincenzo Peruggia

    Peruggia stole the famous painting of Leonardo Da Vinci – Monalisa or Lady Lisa - perhaps the painting would not have been so famous  had it not been for the heroics of Peruggia, who took the painting from a museum in August 1911 in broad day light.

    That act of stealing made him legendary, with the painting becoming prominent as a unquie piece of art work.

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  • 10

    Jesse James

    This America bandit from South was arguably the finest at his work. Together with his brother Frank, he robbed everything – banks, stagecoach, trains –

    Their acts went haywire after they killed a man in a bank robbery. Jesse finally died in April 1882 after being shot in the head.

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