Rumors of ‘inside job’ swirl around unsolved $30 million security heist

A record-breaking $30 million cash heist at a California private security firm over Easter weekend has produced little more than egg on the faces of investigators who still haven’t made an arrest or identified a suspect.

The lack of leads has led to rumors that the theft, discovered on the morning of April 1, may have been an inside job. 

Armored trucks are parked outside the GardaWorld facility in the Sylmar section of Los Angeles on Thursday, April 4, 2024. Investigators are still baffled by a heist in which thieves made off with $30 million cash (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

News of the cash grab at GardaWorld, a security company known for its armored trucks, was reported by the Los Angeles Times. The news outlet called the caper “seamless, sophisticated, and stealthy.” 

It immediately drew comparisons to a robbery two years ago when thieves made off with $100 million in jewels and other valuables from an armored big rig that was headed back from a gem show. That case is still unsolved. 

The GardaWorld crime scene has since been scrubbed by investigators who have looked for fingerprints and other DNA evidence, according to a report Monday by the Los Angeles Times, which cited law enforcement sources close to the case. Federal and local officials have been working in concert to also collect home security video from the nearby Sylmar neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley. 

Since the theft, investigators said they believe the culprits may have entered through the roof, though helicopter footage from KABC-TV showed a hole in the side of the warehouse that has since been covered by a large piece of plywood. 

There were also accounts of some neighbors hearing a “strange mechanical sound” that weekend, while others said there was a Wi-Fi outage in the area though it is unclear whether either incident was connected to the multimillion-dollar heist.

Other peculiar facts supporting the “inside job” theory include it not being “common knowledge” that millions of dollars were stored in the unassuming beige and blue-gray building. Thirty million dollars in cash would weigh 660 pounds in $100 bills. 

Armored car and security experts like Jim McGuffey said a facility with that much cash on hand should have had multiple motion sensors, alarm systems, and cameras in place.

“For that kind of money, you don’t just walk in and walk out with it,” he told the Associated Press. “A facility should be protected from the top to the bottom and the sides.”

Other experts are also weighing in. 

“This is a group that would have to have a lot of prior experience,” Scott Selby, co-author of Flawless, a book about the famous Antwerp, Belgium, diamond heist, told the New York Post. “It’s like if you were a gymnast, you know, by the time you’re world-quality, you’ve already done a lot of work.”

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Selby said it’s very possible the case could go unsolved. 

“Also just the nature of what they stole,” Selby said. “I mean, you can’t work backwards. If someone sees a highly unusual diamond, they remember, ‘Hey, I know that stone.’ But nobody’s gonna be like, ‘Oh, yeah, I remember that used $100 bill.’”

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