Grinning thief steals bucket of gold worth $2.1m from unattended truck

Krystal Johnson

A sneaky thief has stolen a bucket of gold, valued at $2.1m, from the back of an unsupervised truck in New York.

The NYPD released the surveillance footage on Wednesday in an attempt to track down the thief who is believed to be aged in his 50s.

The armoured truck was making a pickup about 4:30pm in Manhattan on September 29, when the driver left the back of it open and unattended.

The man loitered close by the truck before he took off with the 83kg bucket. Photo: NYPD

In this time, the thief loitered close by, before taking off with the 8.3kg bucket of gold, police said.

CCTV filmed the man grinning as he hauled the bucket while weaving through crowded streets, eventually disappearing from view.

Other cameras catch the man appearing more relaxed while walking through the city with his newfound treasure.

He was caught on CCTV fleeing through the streets of New York. Photo: NYPD

Authorities believe the man fled to Florida.

They suspect the man didn't know what was in the bucket before it was stolen.

"I think he just saw an opportunity, took the pail and walked off," NYPD Detective Martin Pastor told CBS.