(KRON) — Millions of dollars in jewelry was reported stolen from an armored Brink’s security truck in Lancaster, California, according to the Associated Press.
Dana Callahan, a spokeswoman for Brink’s security company says that the truck was robbed in the early hours of July 11 near Lancaster. The items were loaded into the truck on July 10 after a showing with the International Gem and Jewelry Show in San Mateo, according to Arnold Duke, the owner of the traveling show. The merchandise was then scheduled to be transported to the Pasadena Convention Center. But some of the most precious items did not make it.
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Duke tells KRON4 that this show has been running for 50 years, and a theft of this magnitude has never happened to their group before. He’s worried this theft could be the end of the show altogether.
Some of the items that were stolen were the most expensive in the bunch, while some of the lower-cost items were left on the truck. Duke says this is a “mysterious disappearance,” mainly because of the value of the items stolen.
“It would be a weird, strange coincidence for all of our best exhibitors to be missing their things. Some of them had $2-7 million dollars in one box,” he told KRON4.
Duke noted that some of his exhibitors have been wiped out including, “Our biggest companies that carry the bigger items like a $500,000 diamond ring…a lot of the jewelry is one-of a kind museum pieces that you’d never see again.”
Duke says that he and his exhibitors have always trusted Brink’s for their security needs, and this is the first time there has been an issue.
“Brink’s is the best company in the world for this kind of thing. They even keep secrets from us,” he said.
The theft isn’t where the troubles will end for this group. According to Duke, many exhibitors cannot afford to insure all of their property while it is on the road. As a result of this, exhibitors may only insure some of their items. This means that some things stolen from the Brink’s truck may not have been listed on the insurance documents.
This discrepancy is not described in a statement from Brink’s to the Associated Press, which reads: “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.” Duke says his exhibitors believe they are missing closer to $150 million in merchandise.
At this time, Brink’s say they intends to uphold the contract on the missing merchandise, but it is unclear whether they will honor what is reported stolen by vendors or what was reported on the insurance manifests.
Duke says he has confidence that Brink’s will make it right.
“I am very optimistic. Brink’s says they want try to take care of everyone. They want everyone to be able to at least make a living again. We just don’t know because this is all new,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.