The Pink Panthers are an organization of jewel thieves composed primarily of ethnic Serbs from Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia.
The groups name, which was given to it by Interpol comes from an infamous 2003 heist in central London wherein the thieves concealed a diamond worth roughly $800,000CAD into a jar of face cream similarly to a scene in the movie 'Return of the Pink Panther.'
The name stuck like glue, and the organization has since become internationally known for their audacious crimes, professionalism and high attention to detail. Which has earned them the admiration of some and the ire of others.
Accurate estimates on the number of operators of this organization are difficult to come by, with some suggesting they have several hundred members worldwide and others reporting them to only have around fifty or sixty. Nonetheless, the group carries on and is accredited with well over one hundred robberies throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Their name isn't the only thing eccentric about the group either, as they are known for their cinema-like heists and escapes. Which include escapes via speed boat, the ramming of luxury sedans through jewelry store windows and even supposedly using prosthetic makeup to alter their appearances. The latter two reportedly worth nearly $12.8 & $131 million CAD respectively.
And no, there isn't a missing decimal on that final figure, it was the result of a December 2008 robbery in one of France's most exclusive Parisian jewelry stores. Wherein the thieves disguised themselves as women and proceeded to steal nearly every piece of jewelry on display in the shop at gunpoint after herding staff and patrons alike into a rear corner.
It was reported by French authorities as one of the largest robberies they'd ever experienced and resulted in a nationwide manhunt which would eventually culminate into the apprehension of eight persons in early 2015, many of whom hailed from the same family and seemed to be living in Paris where the robbery had taken place. Given by the fact almost $25 million CAD in jewels was recovered stuffed into a drainpipe in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis.
While the majority of the loot has yet to be recovered and is likely thought already sold, the gang at large is responsible for having stolen hundreds of millions of luxury goods to date and are widely considered to be the world's best and most proficient jewelry thieves.