Unbelievable bodycam footage has revealed what may be the biggest jewelry heist in American history – a year after still-big thieves made off with precious gems and watches worth up to $100 million.
Video obtained by DailyMail.com shows officers arriving at the scene of the robbery at the Flying J Travel Center in Lebec, Southern California, as two distraught drivers try to make sense of their situation.
James Beatty, 53, and Tandy Motley, 47, were seen telling police they left their Brink’s truck unattended for 27 minutes; Beatty was sleeping in the sleeper berth of the 18-wheeler and eating inside the Motley rest stop.
The drivers waited for police before taking a closer look inside the truck, with footage showing the moment they realized the severity of the robbery.
Video obtained by DailyMail.com shows officers arriving at the scene of the robbery at the Flying J Travel Center in Lebec, Southern California.
Brink’s drivers waited for police before getting a closer look inside the 18-wheeler, which contained diamonds and jewelry worth up to $100 million in some cases.
‘We had a lock here and it’s gone. We looked around for it but it was nowhere to be found,’ said Motley.
When one of the officers asked if they saw anyone following them that night, Motley said he didn’t, but something else caught his attention.
‘There was somebody looking at me weird, like a dog, looking me in the eye, sitting right there, the door open, like we were getting into,’ he says, ‘it just looked weird.’
Before opening the truck door, Beatty revealed they were carrying about $2.7 million worth of diamonds and jewelry – ‘that’s why we need you here,’ he tells police.
‘Some of those obsidian rocks and opals are worth millions for just one stone,’ says the BT ad.
Motley then took an inventory of the merchandise, saying that only 49 of the 73 bags had been loaded.
‘Holy s—,’ Beatty responded, asking Motley to check again. ‘That’s a lot.’
James Beatty, 53, and Tandy Motley, 47, were seen telling police they left their Brink’s truck unattended for 27 minutes.
Thieves were able to bypass the truck’s ‘super tough’ locking mechanism
The Brinks truck was en route to the Pasadena Convention Center when the theft occurred on July 11, 2022.
It was loaded the night after an exhibition hosted by the International Gem and Jewelry Show in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.
Thieves seized a haul that some described as less than $10 million and others at nearly $100 million, and the value is the subject of two lawsuits.
Brinks and victimized 14 jewelers are embroiled in a robbery case.
The jewelers claim that the stolen goods were worth about $100 million, which would make the heist one of the largest in the nation’s history.
Brink’s truck was en route to the Pasadena Convention Center when it was stolen on July 11, 2022.
The security company’s suit alleged that the jewelers had under-declared the value of the items transported and that the company was liable only for the declared value.
Meanwhile, while the BT cargo is valued at $2.7 million, Brinks claims in its own lawsuit against the jeweler that it is worth $8.7 million.
Officials said the thieves likely tracked the truck from San Mateo and that several thieves were involved in the theft.
The guards drove about 300 miles south before the robbery occurred just north of their destination because the thieves managed to bypass the truck’s locking mechanism undetected.
Arnold Duke, president of the International Gem and Jewelry Show, revealed that the truck was carrying gems and jewelry in 70- to 100-pound storage containers.
‘We’re looking at over $100 million in documented damages,’ Duke said.
‘It was a big crime. One of the biggest jewelry heists of all time. We are talking about gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and luxury watches.’