On Monday, July 11, 2022, jewelry worth $100 million was stolen in a heist pulled by California robbers. In the early hours of Monday, robbers targeted an armored Brinks security truck as it was transporting the jewels from one convention show to another.
According to authorities, the Brink’s truck with millions worth of precious gems and jewelry left late at night after an International Gem and Jewelry Show in San Mateo, south of San Francisco, and was supposed to reach another showcase at the Pasadena Convention Center northeast of Los Angeles the next morning, more than five and a half hours away. According to spokeswoman Dana Callahan, the truck was robbed just outside of Los Angeles, in the desert city of Lancaster, north of Palmdale.
Regarding the California theft, International Gem and Jewelry Show director Brandy Swanson said that between 25 and 30 bags were lost in the unfortunate incident, containing an unknown number of individual pieces of jewelry. According to her, 18 victims have reported more than $100 million in losses. Callahan, however, said that the losses amounted to less than $10 million. In a statement, she said:
"According to the information the customers provided to us before they shipped their items, the total value of the missing items is less than $10 million. We are working with law enforcement, and we will fully reimburse our customers for the value of their assets that were stolen, in accordance with the terms of our contract."
"They're devastated" says Swanson as California theft threatens the livelihoods of many
In a heist reminiscent of the hit Ocean's film franchise, California robbers managed to rob a Brink's truck filled with jewelry worth millions of dollars. The robbery, however, has hit the vendors the hardest, as a lot of these jewels are unlikely to be fully insured. According to CBS, many of these vendors have dedicated major parts of their lives to building their collections. Swanson said:
"These are mom-and-pop operators. They're devastated. Some of these people have lost their entire livelihoods."
A heartbroken vendor who lost his entire life's inventory overnight told KPIX:
"My life — that’s how I live, that’s how I feed my kids. You’re looking at 19-karat yellow gold with over 100 carats of multicolored sapphire. Sunday, you had merchandise. Today, you don’t have anything.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working with local authorities to solve the case.
The Brink's Company has been the target of robberies and heists before. In 1950, the Great Brinks Robbery took place at the Brink's building in Boston, an armed robbery that was hailed as one of the largest robberies in the history of the United States.