Missing armored-car driver allegedly took 'large amount' of money: Authorities

PHOTO: Authorities are searching for Mark Espinosa, 29, an armored car driver who went missing along with $850,000 from a mall in Louisville, Kentucky.PlayFBI
WATCH Missing armored-car driver wanted in theft: Authorities

An armored-car driver who disappeared from outside a Louisville, Kentucky, mall -- along with an undisclosed amount of money -- while waiting for his work partner in December is now a wanted fugitive, authorities said.

On Wednesday, police in Louisville would only say that "a large amount of U.S. currency" also went missing along with Mark Espinosa, who is suspected of theft.

"We believe that he acted to take the money," Lt. Steve Kaufling said during a news conference.

On Dec. 5, at around 3:15 p.m., Espinosa was working as an armored-car driver for Garda World near the Jefferson Mall when the company called the Louisville Metro Police Department to report that he had gone missing.

Police found the armored-car at the back of the mall, authorities said in December. They said Espinosa, 29, of Louisville, was last seen in a dark-blue shirt and dark-blue pants.

In radio calls from police, officers said the truck was still running "along with a weapon in the vehicle."

PHOTO: Authorities are searching for Mark Espinosa, 29, an armored car driver who went missing along with $850,000 from a mall in Louisville, Kentucky. Google Maps Street View
Authorities are searching for Mark Espinosa, 29, an armored car driver who went missing along with $850,000 from a mall in Louisville, Kentucky.

Kaufling said Wednesday that the Louisville police and the FBI were investigating the case together and working to find Espinosa.

"Through our investigation, we have ruled out this being a random act of violence," Kaufling said. "At this time, we believe Mark Espinosa has taken steps to plan out this theft and has taken steps to cover up his planning."

On Dec. 10, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Espinosa.

"We are asking for the public's assistance in locating him," Kaufling said. "He has ties to the Northeast United States and has family members on the West Coast, in Texas and in Florida."

Garda World has offered a reward up to $50,000 for information leading to the recovery of the missing money, and arrest and conviction of those responsible. The FBI is also offering a reward up to $10,000.

Authorities said Espinosa should be considered armed and dangerous.

PHOTO: Mark Espinosa is pictured inthis undated photo released by Louisville Metro Police Dept. Louisville Metro Police Dept.
Mark Espinosa is pictured inthis undated photo released by Louisville Metro Police Dept.

Kaufling said he could not release or comment on the amount of missing money because it was part of the investigation.

A report in The Louisville Courier Journal from December said that $850,000 in cash had been taken from the armored car.

Kaufling said that authorities had spoken to Espinosa's family and that relatives were cooperating. He said authorities had searched Espinosa's home. There was no surveillance video from the mall, police said.

Kaufling said previously that there are usually two employees in the armored car. On that particular day in December, one of the workers entered the mall to make his drops and pickups while Espinosa stayed with the truck outside.

Kaufling said that it was not the team's first drop of the day and that they had made several drops that day.

Multiple calls and emails by ABC News to Garda World were not returned.

ABC News' Jason Volack contributed to the reporting of this story.

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