LA Times - In the early hours of July 11, two armed guards left their Brink’s big rig, giving a gang of thieves a 27-minute window to make the huge snatch, its total value still a mystery. Estimates range from $10 million to $100 million.
The team of burglars bypassed the truck’s locking mechanism and used the storage containers to haul away precious gems, gold and other valuables from a Brink’s tractor-trailer, say multiple law enforcement sources not authorized to discuss the crime.
How much the thieves netted during the 2 a.m. snatch is hotly debated. Brink’s said it was less than $10 million based on the insurance. A federal law enforcement source and some associated with the International Gem and Jewelry Show world said the total appears to be closer to $100 million.
“We are talking multi millions here. It is a huge amount of money,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau Sgt. Michael Mileski, a veteran of investigating armored car and bank capers. Mileski said the $10 million is a base, and it is expected to escalate.
This happened a few weeks ago and I’ve been sitting on this blog waiting for more to unfold and more information to come out.
But the fuzz are keeping hush on it, probably to avoid letting the culprits know what they know, and there’s conflicting reports flying around all over the place. Which either means two things-
1) they have some suspects in mind and are tracking them down, but don’t want them to know it, and are just waiting for them to slip up.
2) they have no fucking clue who hit this truck carrying an NBA all star-game’s worth of jewels and watches.
Either way, I haven't seen a scheme pulled off this flawlessly since Jimmy and Stacks pulled off the Lufthansa heist.
Which is exactly why these brainiacs in LA need to take a page out of the movie playbook. Sit back and relax, and let the culprits expose themselves. It's only a matter of time.
First, contact your General Motors dealerships and flag any pink Cadillac sales.
Next, pull the sales records from Andrianna Furs up and down the west coast, and work your way east cross referencing the names with any Killa Cam automobile purchases. Mink coats? Bingo
Last, check the meat trucks. Road blocks are preferable but you can just camp outside the slaughterhouses and inspect freight leaving and you’ll find your guys.
You’ll probably have to thaw them out for a few days to identify them, but they’ll be there.
Because sure as shit nobody can just keep their mouth shout, and control themselves, or their wives, girlfriends, or jump offs, from splurging.
So just follow the money.
And there’s lots of money.
Arnold Duke, president of the International Gem and Jewelry Show whose exhibitors displayed the items in San Mateo and were moving them to Pasadena, said the truck contained many 70- to 100-pound plastic containers filled with jewelry, gems and watches.
“We are looking at more than $100 million in documented losses,” he said. “This was an absolutely huge crime. One of the largest jewelry heists ever. We are talking gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and loads of luxury watches.”
“There were 15 exhibitors each with $5 [million] to $10 million in merchandise,” he added. “These are small businesses with their entire wealth vested in that truck. It has destroyed them financially and it affected their health in some cases.”
In all seriousness, I hope they catch these guys and we learn more about this story so we get a movie out of it, (I love good robbery movies).
Duke said he was told the thieves did not manage to get all the valuables off the truck. Duke declined to discuss the security measures at the shows but said everyone entering is photographed. Typically, merchandise is transported in a big rig with a bulletproof cab, equipped with satellite tracking and elaborate camera systems, armed guards, with the exact route kept a secret, he added.
The question is how the thieves got into the truck and whether they knew in advance about the valuables inside. Given the less than half an hour window, he said, “we believe several thieves had to be involved.”
The crime didn’t match the usual definition of a heist because it did not involve a robbery so much as stealth burglary.
The gang of thieves was able to quickly bypass the truck’s trailer locking mechanism, enter its vast back and unload a series of storage containers filled with jewelry, diamonds other precious gems, and a plethora of Rolexes and other designer watches, Mileski said. The investigator said he wouldn’t describe the locking mechanism but acknowledged it would not be exceedingly difficult to crack. Outward signs of the riches inside were not obvious. But Mileski said the guards driving such trucks are openly carrying firearms and that could alert someone watching trucks.
p.s.- why rob a Brinks truck and endure all that heat you’d have on you when you can just walk into a million targets in Chicago and play super market sweep for free?