An 86-pound container containing $1.6 million in gold flakes was stolen from the back of a briefly unguarded armored truck in midtown Manhattan—and there's video showing the alleged thief struggling with his pail of gold. One NYPD detective said, "I think he just saw an opportunity, took the pail and walked off."
The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on September 29th, outside of 48 West 48th Street. The NYPD says, "An armored truck company making a pick up discovered that a 5 gallon aluminum pail weighing 86 pounds containing gold flakes (valued at 1.6 million dollars) was stolen from the rear of their armored truck... The unidentified individual is then seen lifting the 5 gallon pail from the truck and fleeing East bound on West 48 Street toward Third Avenue."
The suspect is described as being around 50-60 years old, 5'6" and 150 pounds, and the video shows him wearing a black vest, green shirt, blue jeans carrying a black messenger bag. The footage also features him observing the truck for a while before going for it:
Apparently the truck was left unattended for 20 seconds (the guard went to get his cell from the cab of the truck), and you can also see the suspect struggling with the bucket. According to NBC New York, "The normally 10-minute walk takes him an hour. He then jumps into a van at 49th Street and Third Avenue."
Investigators believe the suspect in on the lam in Florida. NYPD Major Case Squad Detective Martin Pastor said it's doubtful the thief realized what was in the pail when he took it, telling NBC New York, "I think when the lucky charm opened up the bucket, he seen the rainbow and seen the gold."
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.