Alleged NYC Bucket of Gold Thief Arrested In Ecuador

A suspected thief accused of stealing a bucket filled with $1.6 million in gold flakes off an armored truck in New York City has been apprehended in Ecuador.

After a search that spanned thousands of miles across two continents over the course of months, authorities arrested Julio Nivelo Thursday.

After surveillance video allegedly first captured Nivelo walking away with an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes in September, authorities followed a trail from the Big Apple to Orlando then California until they finally made their way to Nivelo's native country. It is not clear what happened to his bucket of gold.

Surveillance footage caught Julio Nivelo, 53, allegedly grabbing the 86-pound bucket of gold flakes from the back of an armored truck parked on West 48th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown Manhattan at about 4:30 p.m. September 29, police said.

Nivelo appears to almost walk past the truck, but after the 5-gallon aluminum pail catches his eye, he turns and grabs it before walking away unnoticed, video of the alleged theft shows.

The video shows two men talking to each other in front of the truck as the suspect makes off with the fortune, appearing to struggle with the weight of the goods as he shuffles off.

Numerous tips poured in to police from the tri-state area, leading authorities to identify the suspect as Nivelo, a convicted felon who authorities said has been arrested seven times and deported four times to his native Ecuador.

He was thought to have fled to Florida before moving on to Los Angeles, where officials believe he then left for Ecuador.

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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