Incredible bodycam footage has revealed the aftermath of what could be the biggest jewelry heist in American history – a year after still-at-large thieves ran way with precious gems and watches some have valued up to $100 million.
The video, obtained by DailyMail.com, shows the moment officers arrive at the scene of the robbery at the Flying J Travel Center in Lebec, in southern California, as two confused drivers try to make sense of their situation.
James Beaty, 53, and Tandy Motley, 47, are seen telling police they left their Brink’s truck unattended for 27 minutes; Beaty had been sleeping in the 18-wheeler’s sleeper berth and Motley was eating inside the rest stop.
The drivers had waited for police before taking a close look inside the truck, with footage showing the moment they realize the severity of the robbery which had taken place.
The video, obtained by DailyMail.com, shows the moment officers arrive at the scene of the robbery at the Flying J Travel Center in Lebec, in southern California
The Brink’s drivers waited for police before taking a closer look inside the 18-wheeler that was carrying diamonds and jewelry some lawsuits have valued up to $100million
‘We had a lock on here and that’s gone. We kind of looked around for it but it’s nowhere to be found,’ Motley says.
When asked by one of the officers if they noticed anyone following them that night, Motley says he didn’t, but something else did catch his attention.
‘There was somebody kind of looking at me weird, kind of dogged me, staring right in the eyes, just sitting there, doors were open, as we were getting loaded,’ he says, adding that, ‘It just felt weird.’
Before opening the truck door, Beaty reveals they were carrying about $2.7million in diamonds and jewelry – ‘that’s why we need you guys here,’ he tells the cops.
‘Some of those obsidian rocks and opals are worth millions by themselves just for one stone,’ Beaty ads.
Motley then takes an inventory of the merchandise, saying only 49 of the 73 bags which were loaded remained.
‘Holy s—,’ Beaty reacts, asking Motley to check again. ‘That’s a lot.’
James Beaty, 53, and Tandy Motley, 47, are seen telling police they left their Brink’s truck unattended for 27 minutes
The burglars managed to bypass the truck’s not ‘exceedingly difficult’ locking mechanism undetected
The Brinks truck was traveling to the Pasadena Convention Center when the heist occurred on July 11, 2022.
It had been loaded the night before following an exhibit hosted by the International Gem and Jewelry Show in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.
The thieves nabbed a haul that’s been described by some as worth less than $10 million and others as roughly $100 million and the value is the subject of two lawsuits.
Brinks and 14 affected jewelers have been tangled in a lawsuit over the robbery.
The jewelers claim the stolen merchandise was valued at about $100 million, which would make the theft the largest such heist in the country’s history.
The Brink’s truck was traveling to the Pasadena Convention Center when the heist happened on July 11, 2022
The security company´s lawsuit alleges that the jewelers under-declared the value of the items that were being transported and the company is only responsible for the declared value.
Meanwhile, even though Beaty said the cargo was worth $2,7million, Brinks claimed in its own suit against the jewelers that it was actually worth $8.7 million.
Officials have stated that the thieves likely tracked the truck from San Mateo and that several thieves had to be involved in the heist.
The guards drove south about 300 miles before the heist occurred just north of their destination as the burglars managed to bypass the truck’s locking mechanism undetected.
International Gem and Jewelry Show president Arnold Duke revealed the truck was transporting 70 to 100-pound storage containers housing gems and jewelry.
‘We are looking at more than $100 million in documented losses,’ Duke said.
‘This was an absolutely huge crime. One of the largest jewelry heists ever. We are talking gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and loads of luxury watches.’