Possessions pawned for pills, authorities allege

MANATEE -- Not only did Michael Smith steal items from a friend’s home where he was staying last month, but he also pawned them, according to the Manatee sheriff’s office. Because of his addiction to pain pills, the victim told deputies he suspected Smith, 35, of the burglaries that occurred between Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, the report said. Through a search of pawn shop records it was discovered Smith received $100 for a bike he sold Oct. 31 at a pawn show in the 100th block of Fifth Avenue Drive East, the report said. On Nov. 5 he went to another pawn shop in the 900th block of Eighth Avenue West in Palmetto and pawned a car stereo and amplifier for $150. According to the report he continued the pattern and sold a bike, Blu-Ray movies, a set of car speakers, Tom-Tom GPS, Fossil watch and other items at various pawn shops. In total, Smith made about $550 from his efforts, the report said, and on Nov. 22, six pawn tickets with Smith’s thumb print were obtained. Smith was arrested Dec. 9 and charged with nine counts of dealing in stolen property, nine counts of false owner information on pawned items, forgery, two counts of burglary and uttering. He is currently in the Manatee County jail on a $176,000 bond.