92ºF

Man accused of stealing $1.6M in gold flakes may be in Orlando, police say

ORLANDO, Fla. – Detectives searching for a man they said stole 86 pounds of gold flakes from an armored Loomis truck in New York City is possibly in the Orlando area.

New York detectives are working with authorities in Orlando, but would not say why they think the gold thief is in Central Florida.

The unidentified thief swiped the five-gallon metal bucket off the back of the vehicle on Sept. 29 when a guard briefly went to the truck's cab to retrieve his cellphone.

The gold is worth nearly $1.6 million.

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 said 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.

The man is described as a Hispanic male, 50 to 60 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, according to police.

Loomis is offering a $100,000 reward and Crime Stoppers, $2,000 for tips leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information can call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), submit tips to Crime Stoppers at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


About the Author: