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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Suspect In Theft Of Bucket Of Gold Flakes Caught In Ecuador

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An image from video of a man running off with a bucket filled with gold flakes valued at $1.6 million in September. CreditNew York Police Department
In December, when the authorities identified the suspect wanted in the theft of a bucket of gold flakes valued at $1.6 million, Detective Martin Pastor of the New York Police Department vowed he would find him.
“I’m going to come and get you,” the detective said in an interview with WNBC. “He can run as far as he can, and we will find him.”
The authorities said the suspect, Julio Nivelo, did in fact run after the theft in September, from New York to Florida — and then to Los Angeles.
On Thursday, Mr. Nivelo was caught in his native Ecuador, the police said. The fate of the gold flakes was unknown, and it was not clear what led to Mr. Nivelo’s arrest. Detective Pastor could not be immediately reached to comment on Thursday night.
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Julio NiveloCreditvia New York Police Department
The police said that Mr. Nivelo, who is in his 50s and is also known as David Vargas and uses other aliases, was awaiting extradition to the United States.
The theft drew widespread attention for its audacity and its tenacity. The police said Mr. Nivelo swiped the bucket from the back of an armored truck in Midtown Manhattan on Sept. 29. The thief walked or waddled about half a mile carrying the 86 pounds of flakes. Video showed a man moving slowly and pausing often because of the bucket’s weight, which the authorities said was more than half of what he weighed.
The flakes are shed as jewelers and others work with gold. The scraps are weighed with precision and stored in buckets.
Mr. Nivelo was living in West New York, N.J., at the time of the theft, which took place on West 48th Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.
WNBC reported in December that Mr. Nivelo had previously been arrested seven times and deported four times.