Ian Florez and Matthew Rinke, both 35, of San Bernadino, have been arrested after allegedly stealing over $1.4 million worth of Marvel collectibles from a storage unit in Rancho Cucamonga, California, according to officials. The Rancho Cucamonga Police stated that the incident was reported on February 22, at 6pm, after the victim discovered that his storage unit had been broken into and items from within were being sold online. (It’s unclear when the actual break-in occurred.) Though some of the items were licensed merchandise, some were props used in the actual movies.
Florez was arrested on February 24, after providing information about the items to interested online buyers. Rinke was arrested during a traffic stop (date not specified). After searching a Colton storage facility rented by Rinke, police found $1.4M worth of the Marvel memorabilia stolen from the anonymous victim.
Florez and Rinke were booked on burglary and other warrants. Their bail was set at $25,000. Police do not suspect anyone else was involved in the crime.
The victim is slowly getting his property back, but some items were already sold.
Here are some photographs provided by the police:
This isn’t the first time someone has stolen an expensive collection for money. Just last year, a contractor stole a quarter of a million dollar’s worth of original artwork from the home of Joe Quesada, the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics. The contractor, Francesco Bove, 64, had been hired to repair some water damage in Quesada’s second home, but Bove and his girlfriend instead, moved in uninvited, then after Quesada discovered this and fired him, he stole over $239,000 in artwork and attempted to sell it online.
But the worst case was in 2012, when two twin brothers killed a man by beating him with a hammer, then burying his body in a cheap plastic storage container that they then covered with concrete in order to steal his $100,000 ‘Magic: The Gathering’ card collection in Pensacola, Florida. Reportedly, they sold some of the cards in order to buy the plastic tub.
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