The crook who stole a five-gallon barrel of gold from the back of an armored truck in the Diamond District may have fled to Florida and officials hope video and a large reward from the armored car company will help catch him.
Video shows the thief lurking around the armored car on W. 48th St. near Fifth Ave for a couple of minutes on Sept. 30 before he reaches inside, lifts the barrel with both hands, and walks off.
He likely didn’t know what he had taken 86 pounds of gold flakes valued at $1,565,000, cops said.
“It was just an opportunist. I don’t think anything cheap could be in an armored truck. He would grab anything,” said Det. Martin Pastor of the NYPD’s Major Case Squad.
“As I would say, this leprechaun grabbed a pot of gold.”
Pastor said the thief waited for one of the truck employees, who’s normally posted inside, to walk to the front of the vehicle and turn his back.
As he carried the heavy black barrel, he walked east on 48th St., turned onto Third Ave., then onto 49th St. before hopping into a white car.
That roughly half-mile walk took him an hour, Pastor said.
Police believe he’s in the Orlando area, and are asking pawn shop owners to be on the lookout for anyone selling off scoops of gold flakes.
The gold flakes were en route from Pennsylvania to Canada, cops said.
Armored car company Loomis is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the thief’s capture, police sources said.
A Loomis representative did not return a call seeking comment.
Cops are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.