You can run but you can’t hide: Gold thief nabbed hiding in Ecuador

The alleged thief is believed to have stolen half his weight in gold

A notorious gold thief who thought he was home free and over a million dollars richer was busted in his native Ecuador this week.

Julio Nivelo became something of a legend in New York City when he brazenly walked off with a 5-gallon bucket filled with gold flakes, after the gold was briefly left unattended in the back of an armored truck in Manhattan this fall. The flakes are collected shavings from gold jewelry makers and are reused to create new pieces. The bucket Nivelo stole is believed to have been worth $1.6. million.

That amount of gold is quite heavy, and Nivelo is not a big man: He could be seen on surveillance video taken after the heist struggling to carry the bucket, which was reportedly more than half his body weight. But Nivelo was determined, and attracted very little attention from passerby as he made off with his loot. After vanishing in Manhattan, Nivelo reportedly traveled to Florida and California.

But it was after he returned the Ecuador that authorities finally caught up with the wily thief. Few details about the nature of his arrest have been disclosed, but authorities told the New York Daily News that Homeland Security aided in apprehending the suspect.

Nivelo has reportedly been deported from the United States five times. Investigators told the Daily News they are looking at the possibility that Nivelo was involved in several other thefts. The suspect is currently awaiting extradition to the United States.


Photo: NYPD