Security Firm at Center of $30 Million Easter Heist Was Hacked Months Earlier

Mike Powers

One of the biggest heists in Los Angeles history took place on Easter when thieves pillaged a money storage facility in the San Fernando Valley during the dead of night. The building, which holds large cash inventories for major corporations, was infiltrated by a team of robbers who somehow made off with $30 million. The company at the center of the fiasco is GardaWorld, one of the world’s largest private security providers.

Not that long ago, the company was also hacked. Last month, GardaWorld Cash, the company’s division that handles clients’ cash transfers and storage, filed a data breach notification with multiple state attorney general offices. The notice states that the firm suffered a security incident in November in which “certain administrative files” were accessed. Those files appear to have contained information on 39,000 people and included personal details about U.S. clients, including names, Social Security numbers, Driver’s License numbers, date of birth, and insurance and health information.

It’s unknown at this time whether a connection exists between the robbery and the hacking episode. It is interesting timing, however, given that the division that was robbed appears to be the same division that was hacked. If nothing else, the incident shows that despite being a security firm, GardaWorld would appear to have problems securing its assets.

The company has been the subject of numerous controversies in the past. In 2020, the Tampa Bay Times wrote an investigation that alleged that millions of dollars had “gone missing from Garda’s… vaults, and the company had no idea where the money had gone.” In one episode, a GardaWorld security guard was sentenced to prison for stealing $390,000 from his own truck. In yet another incident, one of the company’s trucks accidentally spilled tens of thousands of dollars onto a busy road in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Authorities have been stumped by the sophistication of the Easter Sunday heist, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that, according to officials, “very few individuals would have known of the huge sums of cash that were being kept within” the safe that was robbed. The robbers broke in through the roof of the building, somehow without triggering the building’s alarm systems. It wasn’t obvious from the outside of the safe that it had been tampered with, and staff at the facility did not realize that it had been robbed until Monday morning when they entered the vault. Authorities also told the Times that the heist was “elaborate and suggested an experienced crew of burglars.”

Gizmodo reached out to GardaWorld and the LAPD for additional information about the heist and we’ll update this post when we learn more.

Authorities are investigating the robbery. “The LAPD and the FBI have a joint investigation into an alleged burglary that occurred on Sunday evening, March 31, 2024. No additional information related to the incident is being released,” the police agencies have curtly told news outlets.

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