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Security guard’s slip-up leads to $1.5 million gold heist in Manhattan

October 3, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Security guard’s slip-up leads to $1.5 million gold heist in Manhattan Joseph Morel was one of two guards who was tasked with securing the gold (KENDALL RODRIGUEZ/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

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An armored security guard in New York City who guarded a 5-gallon bucket of gold worth an estimated value of $1.5 million, made a huge mistake, which resulted in the heist of the precious metal.

Police say 54-year-old Joseph Morel, who is employed at the armored car service Loomis International, was one of two individuals guarding the 86 pounds of gold on Thursday afternoon.

As the man went to use the bucket as a footstool, he noticed that the gold was missing.

“I cried because I’m afraid to lose my job,” the Haitian immigrant told the New York Daily News on Saturday. “I got my mortgage to pay, my wife, my son, my car insurance. Yeah. I’m scared. But if it’s coming, what I can do? I made a mistake.”

Authorities said the heist occurred on W. 48th St. near Fifth Ave, in Manhattan’s Diamond District. Morel was in the back of the truck during their deliveries but went to the front a few times to turn the engine off because the idling car was releasing too much exhaust. He said that the doors were ajar when he turned the vehicle off.

The truck’s security cameras showed a suspect taking a container off of the truck.

The robber, who is described as a Hispanic man wearing a green shirt and black vest and holding a black messenger bag, remained on the loose Saturday, according to officials. It is still not clear if the suspect had help.

Morel admitted that the doors to the back of the truck were open during five deliveries and pickups that were made that day. Only his partner, who had the key, could shut and lock the door, he stated.

“Only one mistake I made,” Morel said. “I’m supposed to tell my partner, ‘Hey buddy, you have to close the door.’”

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