NEW YORK – A quick-thinking thief accused of stealing an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million from an armored truck in New York City is believed to be in Florida.
The unidentified thief swiped the 5-gallon metal bucket off the back of the vehicle 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 in Midtown Manhattan.
Security video shows the black bucket on a pallet inside the open back door of the truck. The man looks around, approaches the truck and lifts the bucket out.
Two men are standing on the sidewalk beside the truck, engaged in animated conversation, and don't appear to notice the man with the bucket walking past them.
Lots of other pedestrians and vehicles stream past as he heads down the sidewalk with one arm wrapped around the bucket and his other hand beneath it.
At one point, he sets it down at the curb, takes a breather for a few seconds, then hoists it again and steps into the street.
Police say it took the thief an hour to complete what would normally be considered a 10-minute walk. He then hopped into a white van and fled.
Police say the suspect likely didn't know what the bucket contained.