Authorities investigating the theft of more than $4.8 million in gold stolen from a tractor-trailer on a North Carolina highway on Sunday, March 1, have released audio of a 911 call that describes how two uniformed guards ran onto the freeway with their hands bound, asking for help.
A trio of hijackers reportedly made off with the gold in a white van after subduing the guards, who had exited the vehicle when the tractor-trailer broke down on the highway.
The 12-minute audio file is posted online at WCNC.com, the website of the NBC News affiliate in Charlotte.
The caller, a passing motorist, dialed 911 and reported that the guards ran onto the northbound lane of Interstate 95 with their hands “zip-tied” behind their backs. The truck itself is described as an 18-wheeler rather than an armored car.
At one point in the audio, one of the guards can be heard approaching the caller, and asking for help. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that he would remain in his vehicle until police arrived.
Local police say the theft occurred at around 6:49 p.m. Sunday at mile-marker 114 on the northbound lane of Interstate 95 in Wilson County, N.C., when a tractor-trailer transporting a shipment of gold and silver from Miami to Massachusetts broke down on the side of the highway.
A news release from the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department states that the two armed security guards who were transporting the load pulled over to the shoulder to investigate the mechanical problems with the rig, when they were approached by three armed male suspects in a white passenger van. The suspects ordered the men to get on to the ground, tied them up, and forced them to walk into the nearby woods, according to the news release. The suspects then reportedly loaded several barrels of gold from the tractor-trailer onto their van before escaping.
A spokesperson for the Wilson’s County Sheriff’s Department declined to provide additional details beyond an initial news release on Monday, citing the active investigation. The spokesperson did say that the tractor-trailer did not have an additional security escort beyond the two armed guards.
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