Man Who Stole $1.6M Bucket of Gold Flakes Is Convicted Felon: Police | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Man Who Stole $1.6M Bucket of Gold Flakes Is Convicted Felon: Police

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    News 4 was the first to show surveillance of the man who walked away with more than a million dollars worth of gold in midtown Manhattan. NYPD investigators now know who the man is, and told News 4's Marc Santia. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016)

    Police have identified the quick-moving crook who brazenly stole a bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million from an armored truck and ran off with it in midtown Manhattan earlier this fall.

    The NYPD says Julio Nivelo is the man who allegedly swiped the 86-pound bucket of gold off the truck on West 48th Street in September, the heist seen in surveillance video first obtained by NBC 4 New York. 

    NYPD Det. Martin Pastor says Nivelo, who's from West New York, New Jersey, is a convicted felon who's known to the NYPD as Luis Toledo, among other aliases. He's a career thief who's been arrested seven times and deported four times to his native Ecuador, according to Pastor. 

    Now the NYPD Major Case Squad has been tracking Nivelo's moves: Pastor says Nivelo fled to Orlando, Florida, before moving on to California, where he's believed to be hiding out in the Los Angeles area with the stolen riches. 

    4 Investigates Exclusive: Gold Theft Caught On Camera

    [NY] 4 Investigates Exclusive: Gold Theft Caught On Camera
    Police give News 4 an exclusive look at surveillance video of a gold robbery worth millions of dollars. Marc Santia reports.
    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016)

    Nivelo was a man about town before the heist, it appears: photos show him posing at Washington Square Park and with a figure of the pope at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. 

    A reward of more than $100,000 is being offered for information in the case. 

    Surveillance video from the the theft shows Nivelo loitering around the truck before one guard goes to make a pickup, and the other guard heads to the front seat to grab his cellphone. Those 20 seconds were long enough for the thief to strike: he goes to grab the 86-pound bucket and makes a run for it, though he clearly has difficulty maneuvering it.

    "I think he just saw an opportunity, took the pail and walked off," Pastor previously told NBC 4 New York. 

    The video shows the thief setting down the heavy bucket, putting it on his shoulder, then taking a breather. He takes another few steps and pauses again. The normally 10-minute walk takes him an hour. He then jumps into a van at 49th Street and Third Avenue.