The man who nabbed $1.6 million worth of gold flakes from the back of an armored truck in Midtown may be in California, the NYPD said.
Police identified the suspect as 53-year-old Julio Nivelo on Tuesday. Nivelo, who also goes by the name David Vargas, is believed to be in the Los Angeles area.
In surveillance video released last month, Nivelo is seen scoping out the area behind an unattended Loomis armored truck and calmly walking away with the 86-pound bucket of gold flakes, authorities said.
The incident, which went down in a matter of seconds, took place on West 48th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues on Sept. 29.
Additional footage showed Nivelo quickly making his way down the crowded sidewalk along Fifth Avenue and even setting the bucket down to catch his breath. Soon after, he reportedly got into a van at 49th Street and Third Avenue.
Police believe that Nivelo wasn’t just in the right place at the right time.
“Now that we know who he is, he’s well organized,” NYPD Detective Martin Pastor told the New York Daily News. “He is, I would say, a professional burglar, a professional thief.”
Pastor said that Nivelo was deported to Ecuador four times between1994 and 2008.
Loomis is offering a $100,000 reward for information that would lead to Nivelo’s arrest.