The Most Famous Jewel Thief: A Ranking of Notorious Figures in History

Choose the jewel thief you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 9, 2024 08:12
Step into the thrilling world of notorious heists and enigmatic criminals as StrawPoll invites you to cast your vote in the ultimate ranking of "Who is the most famous jewel thief?" Unearth the fascinating stories behind the legendary figures who've made history by orchestrating some of the most audacious gem heists. Join thousands of connoisseurs and enthusiasts in this gripping quest to unveil the truth behind these masterminds, and vote for your favorite or suggest a covert operative we might have missed. Prepare to be dazzled as our suspenseful ranking unravels the secrets of these elusive characters and their alluring escapades. The game is afoot - and every vote counts!

Who Is the Most Famous Jewel Thief?

  1. 1
    Known as one of the most successful jewel thieves in history, Doris Payne has been stealing high-end jewelry for over six decades. She has stolen from stores in the US, Europe, and Asia, and has been arrested multiple times. Payne's life story was the subject of a documentary film in 2013.
  2. 2
    Known as the "Gentleman Jewel Thief," Bill Mason stole over $35 million worth of jewels during his career. He was known for his sophisticated approach to stealing, often dressing in expensive suits and carrying a briefcase to blend in with other businessmen. Mason was eventually caught and served time in prison.
  3. 3
    Charles Peace
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    A notorious Victorian-era jewel thief, Charles Peace was known for his cunning and his ability to evade capture. He was eventually caught and executed for murder, but his legacy as a thief lives on.
    Charles Peace in other rankings
  4. 4
    In 2003, Leonardo Notarbartolo and a group of accomplices pulled off one of the largest diamond heists in history, stealing $100 million worth of jewels from a vault in Belgium. Notarbartolo was eventually caught and sentenced to prison.
  5. 5
    In 2015, Brian Reader and a group of accomplices pulled off a daring heist at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit in London, stealing over £14 million worth of jewels. Reader was eventually caught and sentenced to prison.
  6. 6
    Peter Scott
    Arpingstone · Public domain
    Known as the "King of the Cat Burglars," Peter Scott stole over $30 million worth of jewels during his career. He was known for his ability to climb buildings and break into high-security homes. Scott was eventually caught and sentenced to prison.
  7. 7
    While not strictly a jewel thief, Robert Hendy-Freegard was known for his ability to con people out of their money and possessions. He convinced several wealthy individuals to give him their jewels and other valuables, which he then sold for a profit. Hendy-Freegard was eventually caught and sentenced to prison.
    Robert Hendy-Freegard in other rankings
  8. 8
    Known as the "Silver Thief," Blane Nordahl stole over $10 million worth of silverware during his career. He was known for his ability to blend in with wealthy crowds, and often targeted private homes and estates. Nordahl was eventually caught and sentenced to prison.
  9. 9
    Thomas Blood
    G. Scott · Public domain
    In 1671, Thomas Blood attempted to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. He managed to get away with some of the jewels, but was eventually caught and sentenced to death. Blood's daring heist has become a legend in British history.
  10. 10

    Aileen Wuornos

    Aileen Wuornos
    While not strictly a jewel thief, Aileen Wuornos was known for her violent crimes, which included stealing jewelry from her victims. She is one of America's most notorious female serial killers, and her story was the subject of the film "Monster."
    Aileen Wuornos was an American serial killer who was active from 1989 to 1990. She targeted and murdered seven men, most of whom she claimed had either raped or attempted to rape her. Wuornos became one of the most infamous female serial killers in history.
    • Birth Date: February 29, 1956
    • Death Date: October 9, 2002
    • Number of Victims: 7
    • Method of Killing: Firearms
    • Motivation: Claims of self-defense against rape or attempted rape
    Aileen Wuornos in other rankings

Missing your favorite jewel thief?


Ranking factors for famous jewel thief

  1. The number and value of thefts committed
    The more high-profile and valuable the thefts, the more famous the jewel thief is likely to be.
  2. The audacity and daring of the crimes
    Jewel thieves who carry out their heists with daring and ingenuity tend to capture the imagination of the public.
  3. The sophistication of the thefts
    Jewel thieves who employ sophisticated methods, such as cracking safes or using advanced technology, tend to gain more attention.
  4. The level of notoriety and media attention
    A jewel thief who becomes a well-known figure in the media is likely to be regarded as more famous.
  5. The length and extent of the criminal career
    Jewel thieves who have a long and successful criminal history are often considered more famous than those who carry out only a few thefts.
  6. The impact on the victims
    If a jewel thief's crimes have a significant impact on the victims, such as causing emotional distress or financial loss, they are more likely to be considered famous.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous jewel thief. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Jewel thief is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 202 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Jewel thief once every 24 hours. The rank of each Jewel thief is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most famous jewel thief

Jewel theft is one of the most daring and fascinating crimes in history, and the world has seen some legendary jewel thieves who have captured the public's imagination. These masterminds have stolen millions of dollars worth of precious gems and jewels, leaving authorities and the public in awe of their audacity and skill. From the infamous Pink Panthers gang to the elusive Thomas Blood, jewel thieves have always held a special place in the criminal underworld. In this section, we'll explore some of the most famous jewel thieves in history and their daring heists that have left us all in wonder.

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