Man who Allegedly Swiped $1.6 million In Gold Flakes From Midtown NYC Armored Truck Nabbed In Ecuador
The lucky leprechaun 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. on Sept. 30. cops said.
He headed to Florida, then 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.
His earlier scores weren’t as golden — he grabbed jewelry from a courier truck, camera equipment from a car, clothing and glasses from a Fed Ex truck, and tried but failed to make off with 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.
Cops released several photos of Nivelo in December, including a whimsical picture of him on Elliott’s flying bicycle from “E.T.”