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

Emotional ceremony in West Palm Beach honors late veterans
Emotional ceremony in West Palm Beach honors late veterans

Through teary eyes and cracked voices, family members of fallen veterans walked to the front of the room, placed a white flower in a vase and spoke the name of their loved one. They gathered Thursday at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center for the Last Roll Call Ceremony of Remembrance, to honor and celebrate veterans who have died over the last year...
This popular park is getting $1 million-plus face-lift
This popular park is getting $1 million-plus face-lift

A popular village park is getting more than $1 million in upgrades. RELATED: Improvements on tap for Anchorage Park North Palm Beach is installing a new sea wall, 16 floating docks and a kayak launch at the Anchorage Park marina. The dog parks will get new grass in the next few weeks, and the baseball fields have new sod. RELATED: These parks are best...
NEW: Cops use Taser on Florida boy, 12, accused of fleeing in burglary
NEW: Cops use Taser on Florida boy, 12, accused of fleeing in burglary

Miami police deployed a Taser on a 12-year-old boy who they say ran away from officers after burglarizing a home on Wednesday.  Police said officers saw the boy and two other males jump a wooden fence while they were assisting each other in another incident, WPLG reports.  As officers chased them, the males ran into a Walgreen&rsquo...
Royal Palm Beach ready for expected rainy weekend, official says
Royal Palm Beach ready for expected rainy weekend, official says

Royal Palm Beach is ready for whatever the weather throws at it this weekend, the village’s engineer said Thursday. A tropical system developing in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to sweep its rain-heavy eastern side over South Florida, with storms set to arrive Friday and continue through Memorial Day.  Royal Palm Beach sustained little...
Acreage officials ready for up to 10 inches of rain this weekend
Acreage officials ready for up to 10 inches of rain this weekend

Just a week after residents were inundated by torrential rain, officials in The Acreage are bracing for another wet weekend. A tropical system developing in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to sweep its rain-heavy eastern side over South Florida, with storms expected to arrive Friday and continue through Memorial Day.  Crews with the Indian Trail...
More Stories