Jewelry heist from armored truck hints of ‘Italian Job’ style operation
Luxury watches, diamonds and gold were stolen from a Brink’s security truck in July. How did the thieves get into the truck and get away with the goods?
In an “Italian Job” drama-level heist, millions of dollars worth of gems and jewelry were stolen from an armored truck.
At a Flying J rest stop and gas station in California on July 11, the precious gems were snatched from the tractor trailer that was transporting the goods from a jewelry show to another jewelry show, per CNN.
“I’ve been doing this professionally for 45 years and never have we had anything remotely close to this,” Arnold Duke, head of the International Gem & Jewelry Show, told CNN.
At around 2 a.m., two security guards left the truck to go inside the rest stop. When they returned, they noticed the lock was broken and discovered the jewels were gone, per The Guardian.
Between 25 to 30 bags were taken, affecting 18 victims, with total losses coming in around $10 million. Brink’s has promised the company will reimburse customers for the value of the loss, per terms of the contract, according to a statement provided to The Associated Press.
Brandy Swanson, the director of the International Gem and Jewelry Show in San Mateo, explained that many vendors don’t insure the assets fully because it’s so expensive to do so, and so uncommon for a theft of this level to occur, per The Associated Press.
“That’s where the discrepancy comes in. These are mom-and-pop operators,” Swanson told The Associated Press. “They’re devastated. Some of these people have lost their entire livelihoods.”
Brink’s is renowned for the company’s ability to transport valuable items, which is part of what makes the theft so strange.
“They’re the largest carrier of valuables in the world,” Duke told local station KABC. “They even carry all the money that’s printed at the U.S. Mint to the Federal Reserve. So there’s no question we trust them 1,000,000%.”
Some of the items that were stolen include Rolex and Cartier watches, diamonds and gold. The watches include unique serial numbers that are easily traceable if the thieves attempt to sell the luxury watches, according to Duke.
The FBI and police are still investigating the theft, but no details of possible suspects have been made public yet.