Police Search For Suspected Gold Thief In LA

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 53-year-old man seen on camera stealing a pot of gold in New York may now be in Southern California.

According to the New York Police Department, Julio Nivelo, who also goes by the name David Vargas, has been on the run for months.

The suspect “is believed to be in Los Angeles,” according to an NYPD statement.

Security video captured on Sept. 29 shows Nivelo snatching a bucket filled with gold foil flakes from the back of an armored truck parked between 5th and 6th avenues in New York.

The bucket, which weighed 86 pounds, took Nivelo by surprise as the video shows him stumbling as he tries to get away with the $1.6 million treasure.

Police believe he lingered around the truck and then made his move when security guards became distracted.

Detectives said the Hispanic man stands 5-foot-5 tall and weighs around 155 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black vest, a green shirt, blue jeans and was carrying a black messenger bag.

The Ecuador native has had at least seven prior arrests, and has been deported four times.

CBS2’s Kara Finnstrom reported the Loomis armored truck company is offering a $100,000 reward for the return of the stolen gold.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts has been urged to contact NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at (800) 577-TIPS.

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