Jewelry and gems worth millions – a conservative figure puts the value at $10 million – were stolen from a Brink’s armored truck near Los Angeles last week, the security firm said, leaving some victims ask how such theft could have happened.
The merchandise was loaded onto a Brink’s truck at an event hosted by the International Gem and Jewelry Show on July 10 in San Mateo, near San Francisco, said Brandy Swanson, the group’s events director. She said the truck was on its way to another exhibit 370 miles away at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena.
But in circumstances that have not been made public, the merchandise was taken from the truck near Los Angeles early last Monday, said Brink’s spokeswoman Dana Callahan.
The value of the stolen merchandise, which included several gold and diamond necklaces, was not immediately clear. It is also not known how many pieces were taken.
One of the jewelers, who requested anonymity for security reasons given the expensive jewelry he handles, estimated the total value of what was stolen at between $20 million and $50 million. Callahan said it was less than $10 million.
“Based on information customers provided to us prior to shipping their items, the total value of missing items is less than $10 million,” Brink’s said in a statement. “We are working with law enforcement and will fully reimburse our customers for the value of their assets that were stolen, in accordance with the terms of our contract.”
The jeweler said Brink’s was not transparent with jewelry owners and many fundamental questions about the loss remained unanswered.
Neither authorities nor Brink’s released details of what happened, including the location of the theft and whether anyone was injured.
An FBI spokeswoman said the agency was working with local authorities but could not provide more information. In its statement, Brink’s called the episode “a loss incident.”
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.