Watch: Man casually nicks a bucket of gold worth over £1 million off the back of a lorry

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Police in New York City are looking for a quick-thinking thief who stole an 86-pound bucket of gold flakes worth nearly $1.6 million (£1.3 million) off an armoured lorry in Manhattan.

The unidentified thief swiped the five-gallon metal bucket off the back of the vehicle in broad daylight while a guard briefly went to the driver's seat to reportedly retrieve his mobile phone.

Security video shows the black bucket on a pallet inside the open back door of the lorry. The man looks around, approaches the truck and lifts the bucket out.

Two men are standing on the pavement beside the lorry, engaged in animated conversation, and amazingly don't appear to notice the man wandering off with the bucket.

Man with bucket of gold
Amazingly the man wasn't spotted with the bucket (Screen Grab/PA Video)

It's a heavy bucket too - at one point, he sets it down at the kerb, takes a breather for a few seconds, then hoists it again and steps into the street.

Police say it took the thief an hour to complete what would normally be considered a 10-minute walk and likely didn't know what the bucket contained. He then hopped into a white van and fled.

He's believed to now be hiding out in Florida.