Steve Sansweet, owner of Rancho Obi-Wan in California, asks fans and collectors to assist recuperate products presumably taken by his good friend of 20 years
The owner of the worlds biggest Star Wars souvenirs collection has actually found out a difficult lesson about trust. On Monday, he informed his own legend where $200,000 in antiques were presumably taken from his California museum by a guy he when thought about a buddy and asked fellow motion picture fans for aid in recuperating them.
Steve Sansweet, the owner of Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, California , stated in a release to Star Wars fans and collectors that 100 products, which he described as vintage United States and foreign carded action figures, a lot of them essential and unusual pieces, were pilfered from his collection in between late 2015 through 2016, a number of them resold.
He published information of the criminal offense on his site and asked fellow collectors and fans to email [email protected] with details.
The supposed perpetrator: Carl Edward Cunningham, 45 of Marietta, Georgia, a fellow Star Wars collector whom Sansweet has actually understood for 20 years. Cunningham was apprehended in March in Sonoma County, California, and accuseded of felony grand theft. He is totally free on $25,000 bail and an initial hearing is arranged for 27 June.
Its disastrous, Sansweet informed the Guardian on Monday about when he found out a buddy was accuseded of the thefts. Its a sensation of utter betrayal that somebody might stoop to this level, a supposed buddy and confidant, somebody I had actually welcomed to my home and shared meals with.
Sansweet stated he satisfied Cunningham in 1996, while the museum owner was head of fan relations at Lucasfilm.
Since 1977, Sansweet has actually built up a minimum of 350,000 franchise artifacts, saved inside a 9,000-sq-ft storage facility he calls Rancho Obi-Wan, situated on a picturesque nation lane an hour north of San Francisco. He has actually likewise composed 18 Star Wars books and is noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as owning the worlds biggest collection of Star Wars stuff.
The theft emerged in February when Philip Wise, a significant Star Wars collector, published news of the theft of an unusual action figure from his Texas storage facility. Another dealership from southern California notified Wise that he had actually acquired the figure from Cunningham, a Georgia collector, Sansweet composed in his release to motion picture fans Monday.
The California dealership, Zach Tann, informed Wise that he had actually purchased lots of other Star Wars antiques from Cunningham and sent out a breakdown. Wise concluded that the amount and quality of the products recommended they had actually been drawn from Sansweets stretching Ranch Obi-Wan museum.
He called Sansweet who verified that the products were missing out on, consisting of an uncommon three-pack of figures and a shop screen worth $20,000.
When I saw the products missing out on, and thinking about the situations of the theft, my stomach physically sank, Sansweet stated. I was queasy. I was stunned,
Sansweet stated authorities were attempting to recover products that had actually been resold and urged Star Wars fans to report anything they learnt about the thefts or sightings of the products. He stated 2 fans have actually called authorities to state they purchased a few of the products from a genuine dealership and have actually provided to return them, even if they do not get their cash back.
Actor Mark Hamill, who played the character Luke Skywalker in the movie franchise, tweeted Monday about the theft, stating: Maybe release a list of taken products to secure possible victims from acquiring hot product.
Sansweet stated the thefts ran contrary to the collegial spirit of Star Wars fans.
Weve had countless visitors because we ended up being a not-for-profit museum in 2011, he stated. When to our understanding have we had a single product taken, and never ever.
Sansweet stated the museum had actually currently updated security, however he chose not to state that his rely on relationship had actually been destroyed.
> The message here is not to begin mistrusting your buddies, he stated. Or youd be the most unpleasant individual worldwide.