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There are two known break-ins and theft in Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

The first one was committed by Quirinus Quirrell, who was attempting to steal the Sorcerer's stone from Vault 713 but the vault was already emptied and the other one was committed by Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley for one of Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes, Helga Hufflepuff's cup from the vault of Bellatrix Lestrange.

Have such incidents ever happened before at Gringotts?

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Do you mean just the UK branch? – Mooz Jun 27 '14 at 5:01
@Mooz yes friend – Kevin The Knight Jun 27 '14 at 5:03
I think there is no canon resource of any other known Gringotts bank break-ins. – Rajan Jun 27 '14 at 5:23
I wonder if Gringotts pays the owners for the stolen articles, such as making a new Horcrux of the Dark Lord for Bellatrix. – b_jonas Jun 27 '14 at 7:48
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Gringotts has almost certainly been broken into before. The goblins display a pretty cavalier attitude towards people breaking in, they obviously expect it to happen:

“Stand back,” said Griphook importantly. He stroked the door gently with one of his long fingers and it simply melted away.

“If anyone but a Gringotts goblin tried that, they’d be sucked through the door and trapped in there,” said Griphook.

“How often do you check to see if anyone’s inside?” Harry asked.

“About once every ten years,” said Griphook with a rather nasty grin.

Of course, the goblins aren't worried about people breaking in because that isn't the hard part. The difficult part is getting back out once you've made it to a vault, due to all of the possible enchantments involved. That, I suspect, is why Quirrell not being caught is such a big deal. Not because he tried to rob Gringotts, or even that he made it to a vault, but because he was able to make it out again afterwards.

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this was the paragraph i was thinking of, implying that Gringotts had indeed been broken into before, at least thats how i read it – BP_Phoenix Jun 27 '14 at 11:52
Although it seems that anyone with the ability and willingness to cast the Imperius Curse could break into most vaults undetected. You tend to need a key, but those are easy to fashion, and the movies do show several vaults that are opened by mere touch by the goblins. – TylerH Mar 23 '15 at 20:40


To the best of my knowledge, there is currently no canon description of a successful break-in at Gringotts prior to Quirrell in Philosopher’s Stone. However, it is implied that this probably isn’t the first. This is Ron, telling Harry about Quirrell’s break-in:

“Did you hear about Gringotts? It's been all over the Daily Prophet, but I don't suppose you get that with the Muggles — someone tried to rob a high security vault.”

Harry stared.

“Really? What happened to them?”

“Nothing, that‘s why it's such big news. They haven’t been caught. My dad says it must've been a powerful Dark wizard to get round Gringotts, but they don't think they took anything, that's what's odd. 'Course, everyone gets scared when something like this happens in case You-Know-Who's behind it.”

Philosopher’s Stone, chapter 6, The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters

The fact that it’s “big news” backs up what we’d expect: that this is a rare event, but if it was the first, then I think that would be even more remarkable.

So this probably isn’t the first.

We know Quirrell probably couldn’t have done this alone, but was being aided by Voldemort. If Voldemort can assist a break into the Bank in his severely-weakened form in Philosopher’s Stone, then I see no reason to think that he couldn’t be able to do the same at the height of the First Wizarding War. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he did, but it would be unsurprising had he done so.

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Exactly from what you have said it normally happens with a powerful dark wizard then Ron says his piece about Voldemort so more than likely he did break in before during his last reign. – CandiedMango Jun 27 '14 at 9:48
If you meant Gringotts, then I don't think Voldemort would use his energy for breaking into Gringotts during the First Wizarding War. In Philosopher's Stone he had a particular goal, to steal the Philosopher's Stone. He doesn't seem to be the type to personally rob banks for the sake of gold. Even if we consider he would have needed funding during the first war, he already had a powerful army by that point by virtue of his personality alone, and even if he did want the gold and riches in Gringotts, – user13267 Jun 27 '14 at 10:11
he would probably intimidate and coarse the officials at Gringotts somehow, instead of outright breaking in or attacking the bank – user13267 Jun 27 '14 at 10:11
@user13267: he didn’t break in by intimidation in Stone. All I’m saying is that it shows that Gringotts’s security is not infalliable. – alexwlchan Jun 27 '14 at 10:13


Griphook said that breaking into Gringotts is "Impossible" and implies that the only reason Quirrell was able to break into vault 713, was that it's security was lowered after it was emptied.

“Break into a Gringotts vault?” repeated the goblin, wincing a little as he shifted his position upon the bed. “It is impossible.”
“No, it isn’t,” Ron contradicted him. “It’s been done.”
“Yeah,” said Harry. “The same day I first met you, Griphook. My birthday, seven years ago.”
The vault in question was empty at the time,” snapped the goblin, and Harry understood that even though Griphook had let Gringotts, he was offended at the idea of its defenses being breached. “Its protection was minimal.”
(Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 24 - text available on Pottermore)

Of course, Griphook is speaking with his Goblin pride, so his account is probably somewhat subjective.

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Yes, but how does this answer the question? – Rand al'Thor Feb 16 at 22:28
@randal'thor better? – ibid Feb 16 at 22:32

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