These guys almost pulled off this $10 million theft of some rare books stored at the University of Transylvania library. Now, they did mug a librarian, and this sort of theivery is by no means an honorable thing, but I was quite impressed by their ambition and that fact that they really almost succeeded. It took some serious planning and major cajones.
Basically, these three or four late-teens were sitting around getting high, going to college, and getting involved with petty crime. Then, they came up with this idea for this major heist and actually followed through with it. Personally, I've been through the first three things, and we may have fantasized about major crime back in the day, but we never had the ambition or wherewithal to actually go for it. I have to applaud these guys for their initiative.
It turns out, however, that there was one hole in their otherwise very smart plan. I blame too much marajuana for the fact they didn't recognize this hole ahead of time. The article makes a reference that one of the guys kept thinking the heist would be called off when they hit a major snag in the planning, but then describes how they were able to seemingly circumvent every snag. However, as I was reading the article, I could tell that their idea for getting an appraisal at Christie's was a bad one. This indeed is where the plan fell apart.
I guess the coup de grace about this whole thing is that these guys don't feel bad about what they've done. From my standpoint, it serves kind of like a brilliant college project for them - almost something you'd be proud to put on your resume. So, they're all serving seven years in the federal pen right now. The conclusion is that they're young, they'll be out in a few years, and that the whole thing was a great experience and gives them a great story to tell.
If you taking it from the mythological standpoint, the experience seems to have helped them cross the threshold into adulthood. Prior to the event, you get the feeling they felt they were suburban youths whose manhood was being suffocated. Now, they have established their own identity was would-be big time thieves.