Police say Julio Nivelo, AKA David Vargas, 53, swiped the 5-gallon metal bucket off the back of an armored truck around 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 when a guard briefly went to the truck's cab to reportedly retrieve his cellphone.
The incident occurred in broad daylight on West 48th Street near Fifth Avenue in New York City's Midtown section. Police said the suspect likely didn't know what the bucket contained.
Police said the thief lugged the gold flakes up the street, taking an hour to complete what would normally be considered a 10-minute walk. He then hopped into a white van and fled.
The suspect is believed to be in Los Angeles, California. He is described as a Hispanic man, 5 feet 5 inches, 155 pounds, with dark hair, wearing a black vest, green shirt, blue jeans and carrying a black messenger bag.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).