NYPD identifies suspect in theft of 86-pound bucket of gold flakes worth $1.6 million

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police in New York City have identified the man they say stole an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million off an armored truck in Manhattan.

Police say Julio Nivelo, AKA David Vargas, 53, swiped the 5-gallon metal bucket off the back of an armored truck around 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 when a guard briefly went to the truck's cab to reportedly retrieve his cellphone.

The incident occurred in broad daylight on West 48th Street near Fifth Avenue in New York City's Midtown section. Police said the suspect likely didn't know what the bucket contained.

NYPD released surveillance video showing a man taking the bucket out of the truck.

Police said the thief lugged the gold flakes up the street, taking an hour to complete what would normally be considered a 10-minute walk. He then hopped into a white van and fled.

The suspect is believed to be in Los Angeles, California. He is described as a Hispanic man, 5 feet 5 inches, 155 pounds, with dark hair, wearing a black vest, green shirt, blue jeans and carrying a black messenger bag.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).