He only had about 20 seconds of distraction, but that’s all it took for one thief to walk off with about $1.6 million worth of gold flakes on a busy New York City street.
Surveillance video obtained by NBC 4 New York (warning: link contains autoplay video) shows how the theft went down on a September afternoon in midtown Manhattan: the suspect is seen dilly-dallying near an armored truck while two guards bustle around it. One guard leaves to make a pickup, and the other goes toward the front seat of the vehicle to grab his phone.
In that moment, the suspect walks up to the 86-pound bucket of gold flakes, picks it up, and flees the scene — albeit slowly, as it’s clearly no easy thing to carry off such a heavy haul. Indeed, in the video, you can see as he scurries a few feet, then sets the bucket down to take a breather. He hoists it onto his shoulder, walks, and sets it down again.
Eventually, after shuffling along for an hour — taking a route that would normally be just a 10-minute walk — the suspect got into a van and drove off.
“I think he just saw an opportunity, took the pail and walked off,” an NYPD detective told NBC New York. Police don’t think he had any idea what was in the bucket when he boosted it.
Investigators believe he’s now hiding out in Miami or Orlando with his pot of gold, and hopes someone who recognizes him will come forward with more information. Any leprechauns out there looking to get back at this guy, now’s your chance.