Monday, April 15, 2013
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
“Diamond Heist at Brussels Sparks Hunt for 8 Masked Men, and an estimated $50M in gems.” CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 March, 2013. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57569989/diamond-heist-at-brussels-airport-sparks-hunt-for-8-masked-men-and-an-estimated-$50m-in-gems/
Higgins, Andrew. “Brazen Jewel Robbery at Brussels Nets $50 Million in Diamonds.” The New York Times Europe. The New York Times Company, 19 February, 2013. Web. 11 March, 2013.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/world/europe/thieves-steal-millions-in-diamonds-at-brussels-airport.html?_r=1&
Phillips, Mark. “$50M Diamond Heist: Behind the Crime, Potential Payoff on Black Market.” CBS This Morning. CBS Interactive Inc. 20 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 March, 2013. http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57570219/$50m-diamond-heist-behind-the-crime-potential-payoff-on-black-market/
Van der Cruysse, Jan.“Brussels Diamond Robbery Nets ‘Gigantic’ Haul.” BBC News Europe. BBC, 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 11 March, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21504112
It’s 7:00 p.m at my small home, located in Belgium. Just an hour before I do the most risky thing I have ever imagined. Sweat is dripping off my forehead from the nerves, but I can’t be nervous in front of the guys. In about twenty minutes I would have to meet with all seven of them, so we could prepare for our difficult task. But why am I doing it? I was having second thoughts, although its too late to change my mind now. They talked me into stealing millions of dollars worth of diamonds, well he I should say. The he I’m talking about is Simon, the one who convinced us all that this was a good idea.
It all started in July of last year. It was a warm, sunny day when he invited us all over. He was throwing a party, well that's what we all thought. When we arrived at his house no one else was there, it was just Simon sitting there waiting.
“Hey Simon, where is everyone?” I asked him, slowly walking towards him with the others.
“I have to talk to you guys about something....” he said, slowly trailing off.
“Yeah, what?” Benjamin responded, before I could say anything..
“Well I’ve been thinking and.... you guys have always wanted to be rich haven’t you?” Simon nervously said.
“Yeah, so what’s your point?” I told him
“I found a way we can be... I was thinking diamonds...”
“What about them?”
“We could steal them, and then sell them for money”
“What?? Are you crazy?” I said, shocked at what my friend just told us.
“Are trying to get us put in jail, or even worse killed?” Benji said, just as shocked as me.
The other guys, Lucas, Bryan, Vincent, Niels and Pierre, just stood there speechless.
“No it would work I swear! I have it all figured out, we even have Max and Robin on the inside to help us.” he pleaded.
“Huh? Are you thinking of going to the airport to take them?” I nearly shouted.
“He has gone completely mad....” Niels whispered to me.
Simon went on trying to convince us, and soon everyone started to think we should do it. Everyone except for me, but I played along with them because I didn’t want to make my friends mad.
“I’m definitely in on this, it’s a great idea Simon,” I said, trying to sound happy.
“Oh thanks Victor, I knew you would all come around,” Simon said, satisfied with our responses.
I still didn’t think we should do it, but they all started making more complex plans to have a quick escape, and never get caught. Eventually I was convinced it would work, but I really didn’t want to do it. Those diamonds aren’t ours to take, and I didn’t want to be known as a thief.
I still think about that day, regretting ever agreeing to help them. I should have said no, but I was too worried about losing my friendship with them. Now the time has come to actually do it, almost a year later. Still nervous, I got in my car and started driving to our meeting point. It felt like the longest trip ever, just to get to a construction site a few minutes away from my house. I arrived just as the others got there, while they looked calm and ready, I had butterflies in my stomach.
“Here,” Simon said, handing us all loaded machine guns and what we would be wearing.
We took them in silence, and put on the hoods and masks. Simon then walked over to me and held out his hand.
“Victor, you are gonna drive us in,” he told me. Then he dropped the keys into my hand, and I gripped the cold metal tightly.
“Alright,” I said, hiding my discomfort.
I didn’t want to contribute too much in the process of this, so maybe I would feel a bit less guilty about it. That plan didn’t work too well, but I got into the car anyway and told everyone to get in. I should have a pretty easy time getting into the airport, since I’m driving a police car. Then we will be able to grab the diamonds and quickly be on our way.
We were almost to the airport fence, which already had a small opening for us to get in. This was thanks to our friends on the inside, Max and Robin. They have been helping get all the information we need to make it quick and professional. I could see it now, but it was smaller than I thought it would be. I took a deep breath and prepared myself for the impact. BAM! The car hit the sides of the fence, as I sped through it. We were now approaching the armoured van which was just now loading the precious gems into the cargo of the plane.
“STOP! Or I’ll shoot.” Simon said, waving his gun in the air.
All of the workers dropped to the ground, some crying for us to let them live. Little did they know, we had absolutely no plans of hurting anyone. We actually wanted to make sure nobody got injured, but we still got what we wanted. Pierre and the others quickly took as many packets as they could and stuffed them into the car, but I waited in the drivers seat. I didn’t want risk anything, and had to make sure I was ready to speed out of there. It only took them eleven minutes to take most of them, then we were speeding away in the night. I never looked back.
Its been only a day since the heist, and its already everywhere. Headlines of “ Diamond Heist sparks hunt for 8 masked men, and $50M worth of gems” flood the news. They are on a rapid search for us, so I had to get out of here. I called the other guys today, and they were going to leave too. It was just too risky to stay, so I decided to move to The United States. I figured I would have a good life there, and it was far from here. Before we all left Simon gave us our share of the profit. I should be ecstatic right now, because I am rich. I would finally prove my dad wrong, but I need a pretty good cover story for where I got all the money. He never thought I wouldn’t amount to anything, well anything good he always said. I always wanted a good job and a family, but things just never worked out for me. Now was my chance.
The next day I boarded my flight with all of my belongings. I’m not really sure where the rest of our small group was going, but I wished them well. I found my seat and prepared for the long ride. I looked around, because I felt like everyone else knew what I did. But deep down I know I’m only being paranoid, since there is no way they could know. The whole ride I thought about how my life would be from now on. I decided, even though I don’t need one, I would get a job anyway.
I finally was here, in New York City, with my new life awaiting me. I stayed in a motel for a few days, as I found a house and applied for jobs. The first night I flipped on the television, to my horror there it was. On the news, even here, was what I had contributed to. I couldn’t believe it was in America too! No matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get away from what I did.
It’s been twenty years since that hard time. I have donated most of the money to charity and helped with various organizations for the people. To this day I feel guilty for what I did, so this is the only way I can feel better about myself. I have a wife and three kids too, we are happily living in California. Although I regret what I did, I have found happiness in life. I never got caught, no one did. I still kept looking at any leads they got on it, which now were none. We were all safe, as far as I know nobody got busted. I’m not sure what they were doing, but I hoped it was good. I hope none of them committed any more crimes since that day. Now I just had to live the rest of my life, because my life in crime was over. For good.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
For my research story I am writing about the diamond heist that happened at the Brussels Airports in Belgium, London. I will be doing it from the perspective of one of the eight thieves that stole the diamonds. They did it in under 11 minutes and took 120 packets of diamonds which were estimated to value at around 50 million dollars. I will be writing it like a short story but I am going to have some emails in it.