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Fun on Friday: Go Big or Go Home!

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Why buy gold when you can just steal it?

At least that’s how a group of men in Brazil figured it.

Now, I’m not advocating theft here. But you have to give these guys credit for their moxie. They definitely subscribe to the “go big or go home” theory.

According to a Rio Times report, at least eight men were involved in the heist of approximately $30 million worth of gold and other precious metals at the São Paulo airport. The men disguised their trucks to make them look like Brazilian federal police vehicles. Surveillance footage shows at least four thieves getting out of one truck on the tarmac and forcing workers to load it with gold.

According to the state news agency, the robbers got away with 1,653 pounds of precious metals. They ditched their trucks about 20 km from the airport.

The gold was part of a shipment to Zurich and New York. The gang apparently got inside info about the gold by kidnapping the family of a logistics supervisor.

Now, as with most stories like this, this one raises some questions in my mind.

First, how exactly do you move around and sell more than 1,600 pounds of gold? It’s not like you can just call the boys at SchiffGold and say, “Hey, I’ve got about 3 quarters of a ton of gold to sell. Wanna buy it?” And I doubt they’re going to wheelbarrow it into the local pawn shop. How do you monetize this?

Now, I imagine they probably have a plan. I mean, I would hope so. It took a lot of planning to put together such an intricate heist. Surely they talked about how to sell their windfall. Or maybe not. Maybe as they were driving off with their truck loaded down with gold one guy looked at the others and said, “Now what?” and everybody just shrugged.

And here’s another question: why wasn’t there better security for $30 million in gold? According to the reports, “five hooded men armed with pistols and rifles forced the security team to surrender, placed the gold in the trucks and took a man hostage before leaving.”

Five dudes with pistols and rifles? And they drove off with 1,600 pounds of gold?

Yeah. That “security team” sucked.

If I have that much gold, five relatively lightly armed guys ain’t gonna be adequate to take it. Just sayin’.

And if the people who were supposed to be guarding this gold suddenly turn up wearing expensive watches…well…you know.

On another note, I kind of like the irony of the thieves disguising their trucks as police vehicles. According to the Rio Times, the trucks featured exact copies of the lights, stencils, and logos of the law enforcement agency. Now really, is it a stretch to imagine cops stealing stuff? You’ve heard of asset forfeiture, right? So, really, what’s the difference?

Anyway, as I said, I don’t advocate theft – government or otherwise. But I do give these guys credit for thinking big. I’ve always wondered about people who rob convenient stores and get away with like $50. The risk-reward calculation seems a little off there. But jacking $30 million in gold? I see why somebody would risk prison for that kind of return.

Still, there are ways to get gold with zero prison risk. You can call a SchiffGold precious metals specialist. They can hook you up. You won’t even have to waste time making your truck look like a police vehicle. Call today – 1-888-GOLD-160.

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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About The Author

Michael Maharrey is the managing editor of the SchiffGold blog, and the host of the Friday Gold Wrap Podcast and It's Your Dime interview series.
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