Millions of dollars of jewelry stolen from armored truck destined for Pasadena

Millions of dollars worth of jewelry on its way to a jewelry and gem show at the Pasadena Convention Center was stolen from an armored truck in northern Los Angeles County. 

“It’s all fine jewelry, very high tagged, and it’s just gone,” said a jeweler who did not want CBSLA to share his name. 

A 19-karat yellow gold necklace with more than 100-karat of multicolored sapphires stolen from a jeweler who spoke with CBSLA. 

He said that he’s one of the victims of the armored truck heist that included one of a kind pieces. 

The high-end jewelry was last seen at a trade show in the San Mateo Event Center last weekend. Sunday night, merchandise belonging to 18 different jewelers was loaded onto a Brink’s truck destined for the convention center in Pasadena. 

“Sunday you had merchandise. Today, you don’t have anything,” the jeweler said. 

The victims are part of the International Gem and Jewelry Show. 

On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed it’s working with the LA County Sheriff’s Department on the case, but the jewelers haven’t been able to get a straight answer from Brink’s. 

“They’re returning, sometimes, our calls, but there’s no information,” the jeweler said. “I don’t know if it’s under investigation. I don’t know. I can’t do anything right now.”

Since CBSLA’s reporting Friday night, Brinks responded to our request for comment, saying in a statement that the the stolen jewelry was worth just under $10 million. The security company’s full statement reads: 

Earlier this week, a loss incident involving a Brink’s vehicle occurred near Los Angeles. 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. 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,” the company’s press release stated.

When asked by CBSLA’s Jeff Nguyen, a Brinks spokesperson did not provide answers to the questions of where exactly the heist took place, whether it was a holdup or a break-in, how many lockers were taken, whether or not there are tracking devices on the lockers and if there were security cameras on the truck. 

The victims of the jewelry heist told CBSLA’s Jeff Nguyen on Friday that the stolen jewelry was worth up to $150 million.

The trade show’s manager said about two dozen lockers were stolen from the armored vehicle early Monday morning. 

For some of the vendors, they’ve built up their inventory over 40 years. 

“It’s their whole life,” said Brandy Swanson, manager of the International Gem and Jewelry Show. “Some of these people are completely done at this point.” 

The jeweler said that he doesn’t have a showroom. All of his business is done by traveling to trade shows, one by one, so this was more than just merchandise to him. 

“My life. That’s how I live, that’s how I feed my kids. I have kids below the age of 13,” he explained.