The hunt is on for millions of shekels believed to be stashed somewhere in Israel, as a man convicted of robbing an armored truck was released from prison.
Widely-known as the “Brinks truck robber,” 44-year-old Ilan Cooperman walked out of Ma’asiyahu Prison on Tuesday, 11 years after he was sentenced for the August 2003 theft of an armored truck full of money.
Cooperman had been hired as a truck driver a couple weeks before the heist, using a fake identity. During his last shift, he waited for the other driver to leave the truck then fled in the vehicle, stealing over a dozen sacks of money before ditching the truck.
Other than the roughly NIS 900,000 that he agreed to return during sentencing, the rest of the NIS 4.7 million was never recovered, and is believed to have been stashed by Cooperman somewhere in Israel.
For years the buried treasure has been an urban legend of sorts in and around Haifa, where Cooperman grew up.
People have tried their luck digging up plots of land in and around the city hoping to strike it rich, but to no avail.
It was postulated that criminal figures – particularly organized crime figures – would follow Cooperman after his release, so he requested that police keep his release a secret.
But because police are also interested in recovering the stolen money, Cooperman could find himself trailed by criminals and police looking to find where the missing jackpot has been stashed all these years.