‘Gold thief’, Julio Nivelo, aka, ‘David Vargas’, busted in his native country of Ecuador
Nivelo, 53, being accused of swiping $1.6 million in gold flakes from Midtown armored truck and sprinting off
career criminal Nivelo has been tentatively linked to seven similar thefts between May and August last year
Deported four times back to Ecuador, in 1994, 2001, 2005 and 2008, Nivelo manages to slip back into the U.S to continue his crime spree
The bodacious thief fled back to Ecuador after his big score. He was nabbed there on Thursday
The brazen thief who cops say stole $1.6 million worth of gold flakes from an armored car in Midtown has been arrested in his native Ecuador, cops said Thursday.
Julio Nivelo, 53, who also goes by the name David Vargas, grabbed the 86-pound barrel from the back of a Loomis armored car on 48th St. between Fifth and Sixth Ave., NYC, on Sept. 30. cops said.
Nivelo bandit ran off with over $1.6 million worth of gold after swiping a barrel from an armored truck in Midtown, when two guards on a Loomis International truck making a pick-up in the Diamond District noticed that one five-gallon drum of gold flakes – part of a larger shipment headed to Canada – was missing.
The 86-pound tin of precious metals, valued at around $1,565,000, was part of a delivery meant to end up in Ontario with a company called Asahi Refining, sources said.
The truck’s surveillance cameras caught the suspect lifting a container and sprinting off east on 48th St.
The fugitive headed to Florida. His next stop was California, before making his way to Ecuador, officials said. Federal Homeland Security Investigations agents helped capture him there Thursday, officials said.
Police described Nivelo as a career criminal, and have tentatively linked him to at least seven other similar thefts between May and August, police sources said.
Cops have linked Nivelo to seven similar heists
In his earlier heists, the suspect grabbed jewelry from a courier truck, camera equipment from a car, clothing and glasses from a Fed Ex truck, and tried but failed when he tried to snatch a box of Jimmy Choo designer shoes, sources said.
Nivelo has been deported four times to Ecuador, in 1994, 2001, 2005 and 2008, and keeps managing to slip back into the U.S., cops said, and continues with his smash and grab style crime spree.
Cops released several photos of Nivelo in December, including a whimsical picture of him on Elliott’s flying bicycle from “E.T.”