While homeowners are finding the right equipment and personalized setup to safeguard their unique situations, other places of business and properties are just as vulnerable to break-ins. Many people think of homes whenever they think of break-ins, but other locations are just as vulnerable to falling victim.

We’ve compiled a list of five famous break-ins that didn’t include houses. One of these even led to a near impeachment, and resignation of the President of the United States of America.

1. The Lawyer Who Broke Into Prison

In 2012, a Ukrainian lawyer by the name of Serhiy Vlasenko who worked for the Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko broke into prison. He did so simply because he wanted to see Tymoshenko, his client who was currently in prison, but the prison was not granting him access. Since he didn’t receive permission for his needed visit, he took matters into his own hand. 

This photo illustrates a home break in at night through a back door from inside the residence.

The master plan that Vlasenko went with was a simple entry method, he climbed under a fence while the guards were on their break. Vlasenko said his calls were ignored for someone to open the gate for him, so once he was inside of the complex he immediately went to ask the warden to see why he was being kept from his client.

2. A Soccer Star Breaks Into Prison

Famous soccer star, Mario Balotelli, who plays for Nice, a club in Italy’s Serie A, and plays for the Italian national team, has been known for having a difficulty personality and taking part in questionable and usually amusing activity. One of his famous hi-jinks included breaking into an all women’s prison.

Balotelli and his brother made the casual entrance into the women’s prison in Brescia, Italy. When the pair was questioned by a few very confused prison guards regarding the incident, Balotelli responded by letting them know that idea of a woman’s prison intrigued him and he apologized for the incident. Maybe Balotelli has been watching a little bit too much “Orange is the New Black.”

3. The United California Bank Robbery

The world record for most money stolen in a bank robbery occurred in 1972 at the United California Bank in Laguna Niguel, California. The robbers were a group of seven from Ohio and looted the deposit vault of the bank, taking $30 million which would be equivalent of about $100 million today.

This is still a bit of an estimate on how much was taken, because safe deposits do have unsecured contents. The criminals ended up being caught, and a first hand account of the incident was recorded by one of the robbers, Phil Christopher. He was a criminal involved who mentioned the event in the book “Superthief.”

4. The Boston Museum Art Heist

Possibly the largest museum heist in history occurred at the Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990. Over $300 million worth of merchandise was stolen. The heist may have even inspired the film “The Town,” because the robbery was committed by two men dressed as police officers. The imposter police men convinced a pair of security guards that they were responding to a disturbance at the museum. 

The fake police officers went as far as handcuffing the two security guards in the basement, and they did so without having any visible weapons. After 91 minutes the pair was able to get away with 12 different pieces of art, including work by Rembrandt and Vermeer. But they must not have been the most art savvy crooks, because they did leave behind more valuable work and didn’t seem to mind damaging the art. The crooks took off with the surveillance footage from the museum and left the scene.

In 1994 someone reached out to the museum with an offer to return the paintings for $2.6 million if they could avoid prosecution, but nothing came out of the communication. This case was never solved and a $5 million dollar reward remains for anyone who has information that could have the artwork returned. Authorities say they won’t prosecute whoever has the paintings if they are returned.

5. The Watergate Complex

Possibly the most famous break-in that has ever occurred that didn’t include a home was the break-in of the Watergate Complex in Washington D.C. This break in brought down an entire presidential administration.


The scandal occurred in 1972 at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C. Five men were arrested for breaking into the complex. They had ties to President Richard Nixon. Nixon attempted to cover up his involvement with the scandal, but once he was discovered to be complicit, the situation led to a constitutional crisis. What followed was the impeachment articles and Richard Nixon resigning.

Some of the illegal activity from the Nixon administration included bugging offices of political opponents and people who Nixon and his staff were suspicious of. They even ordered the FBI, CIA, and the IRS to investigate activist groups. The film “All the President’s Men” highlighted the Washington Post journalists who uncovered the scandal.