What to Know
- Julio Nivelo allegedly grabbed the 86-pound bucket of gold off a truck on West 48th Street in September
- The West New York, New Jersey, man is a convicted felon known to the NYPD as Luis Toledo, among other aliases
- He's a career thief who's been arrested seven times and deported four times to his native Ecuador
The quick-moving crook who brazenly stole a bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million from an armored truck in Manhattan last fall has been nabbed in his native Ecuador, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC 4 New York.
Authorities had been looking for Julio Nivelo since he was allegedly captured on surveillance video swiping the 86-pound bucket of gold off a truck on West 48th Street in September.
The hunt led police to Nivelo's residence in West New York, New Jersey, to Orlando, to Los Angeles before detectives from the major case squad headed to Ecuador. Nivelo was arrested there Thursday morning by federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations and The National Police of Ecuador.
He was arrested without incident after he sent the NYPD on a months-long search across the globe. It wasn't known when he would be extradited to New York to face charges. Police say they have recovered some of the money.
Nivelo is a convicted felon who is known to the NYPD as Luis Toledo, among other aliases. He's a career thief who's been arrested seven times and deported four times to Ecuador.
Surveillance video from the theft shows a man, allegedly Nivelo, loitering around the truck before one guard goes to make a pickup, and the other guard heads to the front seat to grab his cellphone. Those 20 seconds were long enough for the thief to strike: he goes to grab the 86-pound bucket and makes a run for it, though he clearly has difficulty maneuvering it.
The video shows the thief setting down the heavy bucket, putting it on his shoulder, then taking a breather. He takes another few steps and pauses again. The normally 10-minute walk takes him an hour. He then jumps into a van at 49th Street and Third Avenue.