Thieves stole 22 bags of jewelry worth up to $100 million out of a brinks tractor-trailer while the rig driver slept at a rest stop in Los Angeles, CA.
Around 2a.m., on July 11, two armed guards of a brinks tractor-trailer stopped near the “Flying J” rest stop and gas station. One guard went inside of the rest stop and the other was asleep while still inside the truck. The guard did not tell the sleeping guard that he was stopping. Thieves took that time to break the lock of the truck getting in and stealing 22 bags of jewelry.
The jewelry was being sent from a jewelry show in the San Francisco Bay Area to the Los Angeles region.
“We are looking at more than $100 million in documented losses,” Jewelry Show President Arnold Duke told reporters. “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.”
Duke’s Exhibitors loaded most of their watches, jewelry, and gems into 70- to 100-pound plastic tubs. wand loaded them onto a Brink’s truck to be moved to the next show in Pasadena.
“There were 15 exhibitors each with $5 million to $10 million in merchandise,” Duke told the Los Angeles Times. “These are small businesses with their entire wealth vested in that truck.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the jewelers filed a lawsuit against Brink’s. It alleges the truck was unarmored, parked in a poorly lit location, positioned out the immediate vicinity of security cameras. Also, it had the back door facing away from the building.
Investigators have reviewed security footage and have interviewed potential witnesses.
Detectives are still investigating on whether the truck was followed or if this was just an act of opportunity.