Thieves Score Millions in Armored Truck Jewel Heist Near L.A.

Everyone agrees millions in stones were stolen from an armored truck but, strangely, the jewelers and insurers have vastly different figures

The jewel vendors say $100 million, the insurance company says less than $10 million, but everyone agrees that a hell of a load of jewelry and gems were stolen from an armored Brink’s truck near Los Angeles last week, authorities said on Sunday.

The Associated Press reports that a truck from the private security company was robbed in the early morning on July 11 near Frazier Park while en route to an International Gem and Jewelry Show event that took place this past weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Brandy Swanson, the jewelry show group’s director, said the vehicle was loaded with the valuable cargo on July 10 after a previous show in San Mateo, just south of San Francisco.

According to Swanson, between 25 and 30 bags were taken, but it’s unknown exactly how many individual pieces were in those bags. She said 18 victims reported more than $100 million in losses, however, Brink’s rep Dana Callahan said it was actually less than $10 million.

“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,” Brink’s said in a statement. “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.”

Swanson said the discrepancy in value is due to jewelry vendors underinsuring the merchandise being transported, because they typically can’t afford full coverage.

“These are mom-and-pop operators,” Swanson said. “They’re devastated. Some of these people have lost their entire livelihoods.”

Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Los Angeles, confirmed the robbery and said the bureau was working with local authorities to investigate, but could not immediately provide more information.

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