Police released footage on Tuesday of what may be the luckiest theft in recent history. In the clip, a man brazenly swipes an 86-pound bucket full of gold worth $1.6 million from the back of an unattended armored truck on West 48th Street in the Diamond District on Sept. 29, in broad daylight, as tourists and locals were walking in and out of the jewelry stores that line the block.
The footage, first obtained by NBC 4 New York showed the man capitalizing on a 20-second window left open by the guards, one of whom was making a pickup while the other was walking to the front seat. The suspect allegedly cased the open Loomis International truck as it parked outside 48 W. 48th St., near Sixth Avenue. Realizing no one was looking, he then grabbed a black 5-gallon bucket carrying 86 pounds of gold flakes bound for Ontario and ran away with it in his arms, police said.
The heist, which was captured on tape, showed the man making off with the 86-pound bucket. Throughout his hour-long escape, he appears to struggle with the gold flakes, stopping to set them down several times and even attempting to carry them on his shoulder at one point.
Surveillance cameras tracked him weaving around a crowded sidewalk and onto Sixth Avenue where he disappears from view.
The suspect, who hadn't been arrested as of Wednesday morning, is about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 150 pounds and in his 50s, police said. Cops suspect that the man is lying low in Orlando or Miami until things blow over in the Big Apple. He was last seen wearing a black vest, green shirt, blue jeans and carrying a black messenger bag, police said.
According to the Post, authorities said his actions appeared to be those of a man who was completely unprepared. “I think he just saw an opportunity, took the pail and walked off,” NYPD Detective Martin Pastor told NBC, adding that police believe the sticky-fingered swindler had no idea what he had just scored.
“I think when the lucky charm opened up the bucket, he’d seen the rainbow and seen the gold,” Pastor said.