There are some things that defy common sense. Then there are others which grab the elusive little git by the neck, put its head to the curb and make it taste the underside of their boot in one, mighty stomp.  

The Pink Panthers are one such existence.

Source: cbsnews

Hailing primarily from the nations of the former Yugoslavian region like Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia, the core of the Panthers is composed of battle-hardened individuals with paramilitary training and their network consists of all kinds of experts from the fields of safe-cracking to jewel appraisal, numbering over 200 in all.

The Panthers aren't just a gang of hoodlums or a ragtag group of criminals. They're a guild of thieves- organized, efficient and well-networked.

This downright audacious gang of jewel thieves brings every elaborate heist movie to shame.

Source: fast-torrent

So how did they earn such a distinguished name?

In what can only be described as flipping the authorities a £500,000 bird, the gang of thieves hit Graff Jewelers on Bond Street, Central London in 2003. While the police weren't wholly unsuccessful in catching the robbers, when they finally discovered the gem it was concealed in a bottle of face cream - a play taken straight from Peter Sellers 'The Return of the Pink Panther'. 

It was this 'homage', so to speak, which earned them the name 'Pink Panthers'.

Source: Thequarter

And these are just the famous ones. In a career spanning over twenty years, right up from the early 90's, the Panthers are held responsible for well over 380 elaborate heists and armed robberies from Geneva, London and Paris in Europe to Dubai in the Middle East and even as far as Tokyo in the Far East.

The total amount of wealth they've amassed over their long, elusive career is calculated somewhere in the ballpark of half a billion dollars.

On November 2015 Rajko Caušević, who is known to be the founder of the Panthers was arrested in Montenegro.  

Source: Kurir

But this is just a small hitch in the road for these brazen bandits, who continue to operate. In fact, some speculate that a new generation of Panthers has started operating as well, taking the place of their arrested comrades and retired veterans.

If you're interested in finding out more about the Panthers, a documentary called Smash & Grab was released in 2013 which features authentic interviews with former members. 

Or you can watch the six episode crime-drama-thriller, The Last Panthers

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