The Jewel Thief (2023) Ending Explained – Dissecting the fall of the world’s most ingenious thief

The Jewel Thief Plot Summary

The Jewel Thief tells the true story of Gerald Blanchard. A man who was once called the world’s most ingenious thief, the title is a nod to Blanchard’s high-stakes heist in Austria, where he stole the Sisi Star in 1998.

The film explores more than just that incident though. It dives deep into his upbringing and his decades of crime leading up to the Sisi Star heist, which seemed to have marked the beginning of the end for Blanchard’s outlandish lifestyle.

Gerald Blanchard Life is A Movie Plot

How many times have we watched a film about the rise and fall of a criminal? The humble beginnings, the big break, the high life while the cops build an investigation on you, and then eventually it all comes crashing down.

Gerald Blanchard was a Canadian-born kid who moved to Omaha, Nebraska, with a single mom who worked two jobs and was never around.

Eventually he got good at petty robberies of electronics and then moved up to bank robberies during a bank’s closing hours by knowing the air duct systems. His crimes never really hurt anyone. It wasn’t a dark lifestyle, oddly. For most of the film, Gerald’s life almost seems comical. 

The Sisi Star

Blanchard robbed hundreds of thousands of dollars from ATM’s around Canada in the early 2000’s. He evaded the police by traveling the world. It wasn’t until he somehow managed to get into the Schonburnn Palace in Vienna after hours and steal a gem that was a combination of a pearl and diamond, called The Sisi Star.

In the documentary, Blanchard can’t dive too far into details about how he obtained the gem due to the fact that he could be extradited to Austria if he gives detailed info of the heist on camera. 

Blanchard’s Downfall

The heist was successful, but the heat came down harder on Blanchard as the years progressed. He was a massive target for law enforcement. Blanchard was also working bigger jobs for organized crime bosses.

Judging by the audio recordings of phone calls in the documentary, Blanchard, for the first time ever, was feeling the pressure of being a thief. Over the years, he had acquired over twenty aliases that he utilized to keep the heat off of him from the law.

Oddly enough, he used his own name in a rental car purchase, which led to police and FBI tracking him wherever he went. By the time 2007 rolled around, Blanchard had had a few bad crime stints in Egypt and Europe, and authorities caught an arrested him .It was his past partner, Angela James, who cooperated with police to aid in his arrest. 

Once a Thief, Always a Thief

Blanchard was facing 160 years in prison due to all his crimes. But due to his guilty plea, as well as detailing his crimes and returning the Sisi Star to its rightful place, his sentence was dropped to 8 years. Along with his guilty plea, Blanchard’s accomplices did not receive prison time due to his cooperation. 

He was released in 2012, and soon after he went public about the whole thing. Books, interviews, and even a movie deal about his life were offered.

Blanchard is charismatic, but at the flip of a switch, he can turn into a very off-putting individual. He’s loving the fame of what he’s not for one minute, and the next he’s the bullied nerd that, if pushed too far, you don’t know what he could do to retaliate.

Blanchard seems to love being a thief because, in 2017, he returned to the life when he was busted for robbing PlayStations at a Best Buy in Toronto. History repeats itself; the car he was in upon arrest was in his name rather than an alias!

Catch The Jewel Thief on Hulu right now and let us know what you think of Gerald Blanchard rise and fall in the comments!

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