Remember that guy who casually strode up to an armored truck and stole away with a bucket of gold flakes worth about $1.6 million? It turns out that ripping off unattended trucks is allegedly his thing.
On September 29, a suspect approached a parked armored truck and made off with an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes. He then walked with it for an hour before loading it into a van and driving away. This all happened in broad daylight.
After watching the surveillance footage of the heist, the most striking thing to me was how casually the thief acted when he approached the truck. Like he had done this before. Like it was routine. And then I found out that it totally was!
The suspect, who has since been identified as Julio Nivelo, has hit other unattended trucks in New York City at least seven times this year, reports DNAinfo New York.
On May 6, the thief is alleged to have gotten away with four boxes that held a variety of things on the Upper East side.
On May 9, the thief is alleged to have tried to snatch a box of Jimmy Choo shoes but dropped them when the driver noticed and yelled at him.
On May 18, the thief is alleged to have taken seven boxes on the Upper East Side again.
The following week, it’s alleged that he grabbed a box of jewelry from a courier truck on Madison Avenue.
On July 22, he allegedly made off with 14 boxes from a FedEx truck.
On August 10, he allegedly stole “professional camera equipment” from a parked car and also boxes of clothing and eyewear from another FedEx truck.
And then there was the golden jackpot on September 29.
All of these incidents happened in. Broad. Freaking. Daylight.
From the DNAinfo story:
“These are only the cases we know of,” a law enforcement source said of Nivelo, who has made a living over the last two decades stealing from trucks when he was not in prison or deported home. “Who knows how many are out there we don’t know about.”
Nivelo, who is from Ecuador, had been deported four times prior to his midtown Manhattan snatching spree.
The authorities believe that Nivelo first escaped to Miami after the gold flake heist. From there, he had gotten someone to drive him to Los Angeles, where he is currently thought to be hiding.
Whenever I unload my car in the city, I always take extra care to lock it up between trips. Sometimes I feel silly and paranoid doing it, but now I know that I’m totally justified.