2nd case against 
LBK jewelry thief dropped

The second case brought by Longboat Key police in 2015 against a jewelry thief who sold gold and jewelry to a Bradenton Beach jeweler has ended in no prosecution.

Michael M. Artman, 53, of Holmes Beach, was arrested in December 2015 for an alleged burglary and grand theft at the Windward Bay condominiums in the 4900 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive.

A condo resident reported Artman’s van was in the parking lot when he left the building and, on return from the grocery store, he found $1,500 in jewelry, including a gold onyx ring, stolen from his condo.

Artman was previously convicted for the theft of a diamond ring valued at $85,000 from another condo resident in the same complex. He was sentenced to two years probation in that case.

For several years before his first arrest, Artman sold jewelry to Bridge Street Jewelers in Bradenton Beach, which then resold the items.

During the investigation, Artman allegedly told police he’d committed 10-15 similar crimes, including the 4900 Windward Bay unit burglary and theft.

However, Judge Brian Iten ruled Aug. 15 the admissions made after Artman requested an attorney were not legally obtained.

Assistant State Attorney Casey Cahall dropped the case the next day.

According to her memo, the state would be unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Artman removed or sold the victim’s jewelry due to the suppressed confessions and the lack of corroborating evidence.

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