Probably not. It happened on October 29, 1964. Robbers Jack Murphy (right, a former surfing champion) and Alan Kuhn, both from Miami, had already cased the museum and found security at the fourth floor jewel hall to be pretty deficient.
The main burglar alarm hadn’t worked in years, and the alarms in the display cases never had the batteries replaced.
And there was that window left open, which allowed the robbers to get inside the museum via a rope.
Murphy, Kuhn, and an accomplice waiting outside that night made off with the 563-carat Star of India, a blue sapphire donated to the museum by J.P. Morgan, as well as diamonds, rubies, and other rare gems valued at over $400,000.
The thieves didn’t have the loot for long, reports this piece from Mental Floss:
“[They] were apprehended two days later in Miami; according to Murphy, Interpol identified them because they were spending too much money and they were ‘partying too strong.’ The Star of India was recovered from a locker in a Miami bus station.”
All three thieves got three years in prison, and Jack Murphy ended up there again after he was convicted of murdering a young woman in 1967.
The Museum of Natural History hopefully has installed better security since then.
Tags: famous jewel heists, infamous jewel thieves, Infamous thieves, Jack Murph the Surf Murphy, Museum of Natural History NYC, Museum of Natural History theft, Museum thefts, New York in the 1960s, Star of India sapphire