The top 20 heist scenes of all time – including The Italian Job and Bonnie and Clyde


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One in eight true crime viewers reckon they could pull off a bank robbery – after learning tips from film and TV.

The study of 2,000 adults who watch the genre found they view an average of 20 hours of fictional and real-life lawbreaking TV shows a month.

As a result, three in 10 believe they could solve a robbery crime, having picked up tricks from the comfort of their own sofa.

And 24 percent have even thought about how they might go about pulling off a heist themselves.

More than a third (36 percent) believe a key skill in any robbery is being a master in disguise and 11 percent think you’d have to look scary.

The research, commissioned by TV channel Sky HISTORY to launch its new series, Greatest Heists with Pierce Bronsan, also found 26 percent would swipe a bag of cash they found in a bank – but would never consider stealing from a person or independent business.

And 21 percent would take unattended gold bars from an open vault.

It also emerged one in six (17 percent) view stealing from a bank a ‘victimless’ crime, as long as no one gets hurt – with a quarter admitting they wouldn’t go to the police if they discovered their partner had committed this offence.

While 36 percent admitted they would take a bag full of £20 notes if they found it outside a bank – with 40 percent of this group willing to spend it on bills and essentials to ease the cost of living crisis.

Criminology expert, Professor Emmeline Taylor, said: “This new series is fascinating as it reveals details about some of the most audacious heists ever attempted.

“Some of the stories from around the world are simply more outlandish than the movies.

“People love watching the extreme lengths criminals will go to driven by sheer greed, and of course see the consequences that criminals face afterwards.”

The survey also revealed the top 20 heist scenes in film, including the sequence in 1996 movie, The Italian Job, the robbery in Bonnie and Clyde and Terry Benedict’s vault in Ocean’s Eleven.

The opening bank heist in The Dark Knight and the first job and getaway in Baby Driver also appeared on the list.

Almost six in 10 (59 percent) love watching the crime genre as it is escapism from everyday life, and 39 percent like to watch people try to outsmart each other.

And 71 percent think some true crime events are wilder and more unbelievable than fictional stories.

However, when watching these shows, 52 percent of those polled, via OnePoll, want it to be as accurate as possible, so they know exactly what happened in real life.

A spokesperson for Sky HISTORY added: “Documentaries and programmes about bank robbery taps into a life that is so far removed from most people’s lives.

“There have been some great scenes in films, that are really realistic as well as entertaining.

“But sometimes it’s interesting to watch what really happened – as the research shows, a lot of the time, they are more dramatic than fictional scenes.”

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