The great Pierre Hotel robbery of 1972

The Pierre, on Fifth Avenue and 61st Street, has always been at the top of the New York city luxury hotel heap. And after a major two-year makeover, it just reopened this week.

Hotelpierre Built in 1930 at a cost of $15 million (no small change in the Depression), it has some pretty enchanting touches—such as the castle-like uppermost floors modeled after the Chapel of Versailles. 

 But The Pierre has its infamous side; it was the location of a major heist in the early morning hours of January 2, 1972. While ultra-rich guests were sleeping off New Years’ partying from the night before, tuxedo-clad mob associates held up the hotel.

Gaining access by pulling up in a limo and pretending to be friends of a guest, some of the robbers took 19 staffers and security guards hostage while the others jacked open safe deposit boxes, making off with guests’ jewels and other valuables. 

The heist went smoothly, and the robbers netted $11 million in goods. Of course, in the end, crime didn’t pay—at least for some of the crooks. The masterminds were eventually caught and sent to Attica. 

The above ad appeared in a 1935 issue of The New Yorker

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2 Responses to “The great Pierre Hotel robbery of 1972”

  1. Williamsburg, Leave Murray Monster Alone! - City Room Blog - Says:

    […] Pierre Hotel, which reopened after major renovations, was robbed of $11 million by tuxedo-clad gangsters in 1972. [Ephemeral New […]

  2. PizzaBagel Says:

    I’m thinking that if the heist occurred in the early morning hours of January 2, 1972, then the ultra-rich guests were OVERsleeping off their New Years’ partying — not just from the night before, but from that of the night before that, December 31, 1971.

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