Thieves take $30 million in one of the largest cash heists in Los Angeles history


An FBI spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday night that the agency and the Los Angeles Police Department are investigating the theft. Above, LAPD’s headquarters downtown. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The FBI and Los Angeles Police Department are investigating one of the largest cash heists in the city’s history after as much as $30 million was stolen from a San Fernando Valley money storage facility, a law enforcement source briefed on the investigation

In one of Los Angeles' most significant cash thefts to date, robbers absconded with approximately $30 million during an Easter Sunday break-in at a money storage facility in the San Fernando Valley, according to a Los Angeles police official.

The burglary occurred on Sunday night at a facility in Sylmar, where cash from businesses across the region is processed and kept, stated L.A. Police Department Cmdr. Elaine Morales.

Morales mentioned that the burglars managed to breach both the building and the safe where the money was held. Sources within law enforcement indicated that this burglary ranks among the city's largest in terms of cash stolen, surpassing even the value taken in any armored car heist in Los Angeles.

The circumstances of the break-in are shrouded in mystery. According to sources familiar with the investigation, a burglary crew allegedly breached the roof of the Gardaworld building on Roxford Street to enter the vault. However, it remains unclear how they managed to evade the alarm system.

The Canada-based security company has remained silent, failing to respond to requests for comment on the matter.

The discovery of the substantial theft only occurred when the business operators opened the vault on Monday. A video from an ABC-7 TV news helicopter revealed a significant cut on the side of the building concealed by a piece of plywood.

Upon being notified, authorities took action, with detectives from the LAPD’s Mission Division station arriving at the scene to collect evidence.

A law enforcement insider, speaking to The Times on condition of anonymity, verified that there was an attempt to breach the side of the building where the cash was stored, in addition to the roof entry. During the crime, at least one alarm was activated, though it wasn't linked to local law enforcement, as per a source familiar with the investigation who lacked authorization to publicly discuss the matter.

Adding to the intrigue is the revelation from law enforcement sources that only a select few individuals would have been aware of the substantial amounts of cash stored in that safe.

Described as elaborate, the break-in indicates the involvement of an experienced crew with the skills to breach a secure facility and operate without detection.

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