After the diamond heist in Belgium in the first episode of “History’s Greatest Heists,” Pierce Brosnan is back on screen with another daring heist of all time, i.e., the Pierre Hotel Robbery case. After a successful theft in the first episode, the second episode begins with re-enactments, eyewitness reports, and facts to encapsulate Brosnan through each robbery and leave the audience with bated breath. The burglars had been breaking into hotels in New York, one after another, but who realized that the Pierre, with a grand feast, would eventually bring catastrophe to their quintessential livelihood?
Exercises Before Execution
The skyscraper building of “The Pierre,” the elegant and luxurious hotel located on 61st Street, Manhattan, was built in 1929 and had a total of 714 rooms, usually occupied by celebrities and popular figures. There were events like fashion shows, film promotions, and business meetings all around the year. With smooth planning, the robbery was pulled off with approximately 11 million dollars—or much more—by Bobby Comfort and his teammates.
Bobby, The Brains, is born with the ability to steal things, for which he has already spent a few years behind bars. And in jail, he didn’t waste a single moment planning his next attack—he used to scan the newspaper and make a mental note of what was going on inside the lavish hotels. Who knew that the newspaper would be a great source for Bobby to collect information about penthouse parties’ rings and diamond necklaces owned by actresses? After two years, he got out of the cage with updates that could help him sneak into the royal buildings, but all he needs is a partner. Bobby was using his Brain to the fullest, but for the mechanical talent, he got along well with Sammy Nalo, the tool man. It was 1970, and the hotels were not equipped with lots of surveillance cameras and other technologies. This could be one of the reasons Bobby chose the hotels as his target. With disguises, wigs, and artificial noses, the duo used to camouflage as guests at midnight and force the manager to open the vaults. As they say, practice makes perfect. Bobby started his burglary class with The Sherry Netherlands, The Carlyle Hotel, and The Regency.
The Regency, with 390 rooms, was taken over by Bobby and Sammy in 1971, while Sammy was breaking the vault and Bobby was taking care of the receptionist and security, of course in his own way. Within two hours, Sammy could break only 17 boxes without much payback, but wherever Bobby is, there will always be a master plan you can’t even think of. They finally decided to take away the whole box, quite big enough but not that hard for a genius who always kept his eyes wide open every day at his prey. Well, the practice session is almost over, with rewards like cash, jewels, and gems.
Peeping Into The Pierre
The NY city is all ornamented from the start of November, and The Pierre will be filled with filthy rich people for the celebration of Xmas eve, also an opportunity for Bobby to bring the brightest light in his life on this very occasion. He hired three loyal men on his team. Doc, who already helped him in his previous crimes; City, another help he had for his Carlyle mission; and Country, who might look dumb but is smart enough to fool people. While three of them were staying in Hired Gun’s hotel, the duo was spending nights inside the library to enhance their knowledge. The Pierre, a tempting target, has a total of 12 gates to get inside, with 18 securities and trigger alarms. Sophia Loren, Dionne Warwick, Joan Collins, and several others were residing inside the building, so the lockers were overloaded with more and more exquisite items. Two weeks before the operation, Bobby and Sammy checked into the hotel to observe the little details of the place. What did he touch: desk buzzers, the opening and closing times of the door (1 am to 6:30 am), the number of staff and their duties, and the refilling time of the vault (3:40 am to 4:30 am)? In a few days, the team will be well prepared with their masks, wigs, fake beard and mustache, gloves, and twenty sets of handcuffs—just one step away from the destination.
The robbers are dapper, courteous, and quick. Around 3:50 am, the handsome chaps get out of their black car just in front of the 61st Avenue entrance. With a prior booking by the name of Dr. Forster, the gang entered the hall, patiently gathered the employees, and took 16 staff hostage with handcuffs and adhesive tapes. Sammy and City have already reached his harbor to crack up the lockers while Bobby was controlling the front desk. Doc is in the executive office, while Country is at the main entrance. They assured the scared professionals that no one would be put in danger because they were only concerned about the robbery. A city that never sleeps is still unaware of the ongoing crime, all appraisal to Bobby, the builder.
Bruise And Business
After 45 minutes of their arrival, there comes a guest, and at gunpoint, he is taken directly to the lobby. Bobby panics to know that Sammy cannot get access to most of the boxes as they are all embedded in the wall. What’s next? Sammy wheedled the manager to show the index card. With audacity comes accomplishment—soon enough, he started taking out the boxes like pulling the cork from a wine bottle. One box—and millions of treasures, including diamonds, gems, emeralds, cash, jewelry, and whatnot! The mission was being carried out without a hitch until there was a phone call from reception complaining about the elevator. The Brain never went out of his mind and decided to help the man who was facing difficulty on the 37th floor. Now it is no longer a hiccup-free heist. Whereas Sammy, the mastermind was not in the mood to leave, probably that is what greed does to a man! Amidst these, one of the team members calls out Bobby’s name in front of the hostages—a loophole in this major run. Comfort thanked each hotel worker, asking them to stay away from any police investigation or their family would be in danger.
The Endings Could Be Disappointing
Coming to the most exciting part: Bobby’s collection includes nearly 75 million dollars in today’s world, with lots of jewels, sapphires, bracelets, and necklaces. The best part was they left no evidence, not even a single fingerprint, that could make the police suspect. They divided their estimated amount but could not get rid of the diamonds, at least for now. Within five days, super-excited Sammy called up Bobby to sell the gemstones to one of his acquaintances. The caper did not result in a decent pension for the looters as designed. Dom Paulino, the fence of Bobby, got caught by the FBI agents while he planned to sell the diamonds- and this went direct to the planner Bobby. He was found guilty and sentenced to prison for seven years.Sammy, on the other hand, was caught red-handed by the cops with all his tools. Here comes another twist that literally broke their friendship—Sammy, with his loose settings, double-crossed everyone, which was a breach of “bro-code,” surely! After he came out of jail, he was shot by gangsters for his other dirty business.
The names of Country, Doc, and City were never revealed, and there is no clue about the nine million along with the diamonds. In an interview, Bobby admitted that all he had done was rob for a wealthy living. The family man passed away from cancer at the age of 53. With Bobby’s charm and intellect instead of confidentiality and capital, Comfort and Sammy received celebrity status and the dodgy honor of arranging and conducting the largest hotel heist of all time, which Broson is also amazed by.