Do you remember the bizarre (to the point of being dubious) gold heist that took place on the highways of North Carolina earlier this year involving an armored truck? Although this suspicious case of literal highway robbery from March has yet to be solved, the FBI may have found a clue to unraveling the mystery through a related case in Miami.
The initial reports from about 6 months ago described an unusual scenario in which a fully armored truck carrying millions of dollars worth of gold bars (roughly $4.8 million, to be more precise) was carjacked on the side of Interstate 95. Some reports indicated that one of the men in the truck became carsick, prompting them the pull over; other sources indicate the vehicle was experiencing mechanical issues. The details of what exactly happened are strangely cloudy.
In any event, a group of three men with firearms robbed the truck—in the middle of the highway—by threatening its occupants and forcing them out of the truck at gunpoint. The driver and passenger were then bound and led into the woods while the assailants made off with the haul of gold in their own white van.
One is left to wonder how these men knew what the armored truck was carrying (though the implication is something of value), or how they might have been so lucky as to plan their heist on a day when the truck would pull over in the middle of its trip.
Piecing Together the Puzzle
The case essentially went cold until, inevitably, the stolen gold bars turned up—in Miami. A man that the authorities believe to be working with the robbers raised suspicions when he tried to hawk a massive 26-pound gold bar to a Miami pawn broker. That's a staggering amount of gold in one bar: more than 379 troy ounces, or nearly a dozen kilos! Again, questions arose as to how the man had come into possession of such a massive gold bar, far larger than the kind typically available to retail investors.
In addition to their apprehension over its origins and lack of documentation, the broker and his pawn shop were unwilling to pay the hefty price for the gold bar, which was worth about half a million dollars. Later, the man apparently returned trying to sell smaller amount of gold that looked like it had merely been cut off, crudely, from a larger bar using a hacksaw.
The tell-tale giveaway, however, was that the bar still had the Republic Metals hallmark on the surface, which is the company whose shipment of gold bars was stolen in North Carolina on I-95. The serial number even matched one that was on the intercepted shipment. Regardless of whether or not he knew the gold bar was stolen, attempting to sell the "hot" item is an offense known as "fencing."
The pawn broker is now cooperating with authorities after receiving blatant threats from the guilty parties after he told them he had turned over the bar to the FBI. The seller, eventually identified as Miguel Bover, was taken into custody when police tracking revealed that the criminals used his cell phone to make the threats.
Though the other two men have not yet been arrested, Bover likely holds the key to solving the case.