Under the Streets of Nice
By Ken Follett
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Albert Spaggiari engineered the European crime of the century-a 1976 bank heist accomplished, as a note left in the empty vault said, "Without guns, without violence, without hate". He and his 20 men had dug a 25 foot tunnel from the city sewer system into the back, where they spent a weekend cooking meals, drinking wine and clearing out a total of $8 to $10 million in gold, jewelry, gems and cash reserves. Tracked down and captured, Spaggiari escaped from the French gendarmes by leaping out a magistrate's window and onto the back of a motorcycle. Convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison, he retired to a ranch in Argentina-purchased, according to his memoirs, with the proceeds from the robbery. He taunted police for more than a decade until his mysterious death in 1989, which made him international headlines once again. The loot was never recovered.