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Surveillance video shows Manhattan's bucket of gold thief on Sept. 29, 2016. (NYPD)

Manhattan's bucket of gold thief was captured in Ecuador after nearly 4 months on the run


A man accused of brazenly stealing a bucket filled with $1.6 million worth of gold flakes from an armored truck in New York City was finally captured in Ecuador after four months on the run. 

Julio Nivelo, 53, was arrested by police in Ecuador and members of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thursday, according to the New York Police Department.

Nivelo's criminal history

Initially, police thought this was a crime of opportunity but later revealed that Nivelo has had run-ins with the law before. “He is, I would say, a professional burglar, a professional thief," Detective Martin Pastor with the NYPD told the New York Daily News

Nivelo was previously arrested seven times and deported back to Ecuador four times. He also used the aliases Luis Toledo and David Vargas, The Washington Post reports.

Here's surveillance footage from Sept. 29 theft. 

Police released the surveillance footage in November in an attempt to locate Nivelo. Footage shows a man, believed to be Nivelo, grabbing an 86-pound bucket of gold from the back of an armored truck parked on West 48th Street in Manhattan around 4:30 p.m. 

At first, Nivelo nearly walks past the truck, but then turns and grabs the bucket, walking away unnoticed. 

Initially, authorities thought Nivelo had fled to Florida, but by December they received information that led them to believe he was in Los Angeles.

Police have not said what redirected their search to Ecuador. It remains unclear what happened to the bucket of gold. 

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