$550k gold bar from Florida Keys shipwreck stolen

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Associated Press

Posted on August 19, 2010 at 6:33 PM

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Police say two thieves entered a museum after closing time and stole a gold bar worth about $550,000 that had been recovered from the shipwreck of a Spanish galleon off Florida.

Police and the FBI are working to identify the suspects and recover the gold bar taken Wednesday afternoon from the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, where it had been displayed for more than 20 years.

Authorities say the bar was locked in a see-through case that let visitors touch it while keeping it secure. Security footage shows the suspects breaking into the case about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.

The bar was recovered in 1980 from the Santa Margarita shipwreck off the Florida Keys. The ship — loaded with gold bars, jewelry and silver coins — was one of eight to sink in a 1622 hurricane.

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