LATEST: Gardens man charged in theft of gold bar from Key West museum


A Palm Beach Gardens man was one of two people arrested Monday for stealing a rare and valuable 17th century gold bar from a Key West museum in 2010, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami said.

Federal authorities arrested Jarred Alexander Goldman, 32, of Palm Beach Gardens and Richard Steven Johnson, 41, of Rio Linda, Calif., alleging that the men conspired to steal to the bar from the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum.

Goldman and Johnson both face one count each of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and of theft of major artwork. If convicted, they each could face up to 15 years in prison.

According to a federal indictment, the gold bar was taken on or about Aug. 18, 2010. Prosecutors say the two men drove from West Palm Beach to Key West, then returned to Palm Beach County after completing the heist.

Goldman allegedly was the lookout while Johnson removed the bar from its display case.

The 74.85-ounce gold bar is valued at $550,000, according a 2015 report in the Florida Keys Keynoter newspaper. Since the theft, it has not been recovered, authorities said.

It initially was recovered from the Santa Margarita shipwreck in 1980 by treasure hunter Mel Fisher and his crew, the Keynoter reported. The Santa Margarita was among a fleet of Spanish ships that sank off the coast of the Florida Keys in 1622 after getting caught in a hurricane, according the museum’s website. Fisher died in 1998 at age 76.

The gold bar had been on display at the museum for more than 20 years. It was displayed in a case designed to let people to touch and pick it up, but not remove it, the Keynoter reported.

Court records show that Goldman was arrested in Jupiter in 2013 for DUI and reckless driving. He was placed on 12 months of probation. Goldman made his first appearance on the theft charge Tuesday morning in Key West before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow.

He invoked his right to silence and was assigned a public defender, court records show. Johnson also invoked his right and was assigned a public defender during a court appearance Monday in Sacramento, Calif.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Alcohol sales spur Wellington to pull Palm Beach Polo soccer permit
Alcohol sales spur Wellington to pull Palm Beach Polo soccer permit

After numerous complaints and violations, Wellington this week revoked a special-use permit that allowed soccer to be played on a large field at the north end of Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club. The tipping point: A village code enforcement officer and Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies visited the site Sunday and found food and beverages...
BREAKING: 1 dead, 3 injured in Riviera Beach shootings
BREAKING: 1 dead, 3 injured in Riviera Beach shootings

One person is dead and three injured after two shootings in Riviera Beach on Friday evening, according to city police.  In the span of half an hour, police responded to shootings in the same neighborhood off Blue Heron Boulevard and west of Congress Avenue. Police said the first shooting was on the 2100 block of 23rd Street. One...
Honda Classic: Man gets bonked by golf ball, gets an autograph for his troubles
Honda Classic: Man gets bonked by golf ball, gets an autograph for his troubles

A man got hit in the head by a golf ball hit by Justin Thomas during the second round of Friday’s Honda Classic at PGA National. The man, who didn’t want to be identified, suffered a scrape on his scalp and had some bleeding but was otherwise unharmed. Thomas ended up signing a golf glove and gave it to the man’s daughter. It&rsquo...
‘Dangerous dogs’: Royal Palm gives initial OK to change definition
‘Dangerous dogs’: Royal Palm gives initial OK to change definition

Royal Palm Beach has taken the first step toward making it easier for the village to declare dogs dangerous. The village council voted unanimously Feb. 15 to give initial approval for the move, which would bring Royal Palm Beach’s definitions of aggressive, dangerous or vicious dogs in line with those of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control...
JUST IN: Boy, 14, arrested, threatened shooting at Boynton school
JUST IN: Boy, 14, arrested, threatened shooting at Boynton school

A 14-year-old student was arrested Friday by Boynton Beach police after he threatened to shoot up a school. This comes nine days after 17 people were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Officers responded to SouthTech Preparatory Academy, off Gateway Boulevard between Congress Avenue and High Ridge Road...
More Stories