A man who reported his wife went missing at sea while the two were yachting in the Bahamas has been arrested in the theft of $100,000 worth of rare gold and silver coins.
Lewis Bennett, 38, was arrested in West Palm Beach Monday on a federal charge of transporting stolen goods worth more than $5,000. Bennett is due in a Key West court Tuesday.
On May 15, he and wife Isabella Hellmann, 41, were sailing from to the Bahamas when he put out a distress signal from a life raft, claiming the boat began to sink as they slept. When he woke, he said his wife was nowhere to be found.
Investigators say they recovered some of the stolen coins from the raft Bennett was rescued from when his wife disappeared.
Investigators have never officially said whether they suspect foul play in Hellmann's disappearance or named Bennett as a suspect.
The FBI and U.S. Coast Guard went to Bennett’s Delray Beach apartment on June 16 and found 162 more gold coins, according to an arrest affidavit.
Those coins were photographed and sent to the owner of the boat. They were identified as missing, federal authorities said.