World’s Most Infamous Cat Burglar Of The Rich Dies At 82

Telegraph a man who embodied crime as a philosophy and way of life:

Peter Scott, who has died aged 82, was a highly accomplished cat burglar, and took particular pains to select his victims from the ranks of aristocrats, film stars and even royalty.

By his own reckoning, Scott stole jewels, furs and artworks worth more than £30 million. He held none of his victims in great esteem (“upper-class prats chattering in monosyllables”). According to a list of 100 names he supplied, he targeted figures such as Soraya Khashoggi, Shirley MacLaine, the Shah of Iran, Judy Garland and even Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. He asserted that he had been “sent by God to take back some of the wealth that the outrageously rich had taken from the rest of us”.

By the mid-1990s, Scott had served 12 years in prison in the course of half a dozen separate stretches, and claimed to have retired from a life of crime. But in 1998 he was jailed for another three and a half years for handling, following the theft of Picasso’s Tête de Femme from the Lefevre Gallery in Mayfair the year before.

Scott was a past-master in self-justification of his crimes: “The people I burgled got rich by greed and skulduggery. They indulged in the mechanics of ostentation — they deserved me and I deserved them. If I rob Ivana Trump, it is just a meeting of two different kinds of degeneracy on a dark rooftop.”

In his memoirs, Scott admitted to an even stronger motivation: “Even now, after 30 years, it was a sexual thrill.” There was the additional satisfaction in his assumption that the millions reading about his exploits in the papers were silently cheering him on.

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  • I_abide

    I’d like this guy more if he actually had made an impact on these people in some way. As it is he just appears to be a bit on the narcissistic side.

  • Juan

    I find these kinds of characters fascinating. Good for him that he ripped off the rich. I don’t care that it may have been self serving or whatever. I see it as a kind of “Fuck you!” to the status quo.

  • echar

    At the least, I like him for using the word skulduggery.

  • BuzzCoastin

    nice touch
    but stealing from large corporations & F’ing their processes
    is much more noble
    so don’t forget to loot the corporate overloads whenever possible
    (void where prohibited by law, you mileage may vary)

    • echar

      Shoplifting for Jesus!

    • kowalityjesus

      thanks for the reminder

  • Dingbert

    If I were him, I would want this played at my funeral:

    http://youtu.be/Vi-u0cHeuc0

    • Juan

      Wow, that really took me back. Great tune. Love The Clash:)

  • geminihigh

    I think he did the most harm to his victims psychologically. Even with security systems and guards, he still got past it all. It sent a pretty clear message to his elite victims that they were not out of his reach. The rush that comes from engaging in criminal pursuits such as Mr. Scott’s is addictive(IMO), and at least he admitted that there was a sexual component to his escapades. Stealing and wearing the rich and powerful’s apparel was probably like showing off a trophy from his hunts. I wonder if he rubbed one out on some of those minks he ganked? Just judging from his photo I can tell Mr. Scott would at least be an acquaintance of Michael Caine’s character in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”