Details about a 2015 gold heist on a North Carolina highway were recently revealed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the alleged ringleader was apprehended.
Information about the heist makes it sound like the script for a Hollywood movie. The thieves in the daring robbery got away with gold bars valued at $4.8 million. According to the FBI, the suspects stopped a tractor-trailer carrying a shipment of gold bars on Interstate-95 in North Carolina and used handguns and a remote-controlled pepper-spray launcher to overtake the truck drivers.
The gold truck was headed from Republic Metals, a precious metals refinery located in Miami, Florida, to a processing plant in Massachusetts. However, the truck, which belonged to the TransValue shipping company, never made it to its intended destination.
Adalberto Perez, a 46-year-old Miami resident, was later identified by investigators as the ringleader of the robbery. Last week, law enforcement arrested Perez at his residence in Opa-Locka, Florida. The other two suspects in the theft have not yet been located.
Perez reportedly orchestrated the armed robbery and guided his two co-conspirators into using high-tech gadgets that included a GPS tracker used to locate the trucks carrying the gold. With the GPS device attached to the trailer, the three suspects allegedly followed close behind in a white van.
When the robbers felt the time to strike was right, they set off a device inside the truck and filled the truck’s cab with pepper spray. The truck drivers became ill and pulled over to the shoulder of the highway, at which point the robbers moved in and restrained them.
In order to divert attention from the robbery, the suspects reportedly placed orange traffic cones along the highway and wore reflective clothing to make it look like they were working on the side of the road. Meanwhile, the suspects quickly removed 275 pounds of gold bars and silver coins from the truck and then fled the area.
An FBI informant indicated that Perez spent almost a year preparing for the audacious robbery, according to an affidavit that was recently unsealed in federal court.
Perez now faces federal criminal charges for robbery, as well as various weapons offenses.
If you have been arrested for armed robbery, theft of movable property or any other theft crime in New Jersey, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.