In 'Devastating Betrayal,' 100 Star Wars Items Stolen

Suspect is a close friend of the owner
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2017 8:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Some $200,000 in Star Wars collectibles have vanished just like the Millennium Falcon jumping to light speed. The owner of the world's largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia and the envy of every fan in the galaxy announced Monday that 100 items, including "rare and important pieces," were stolen from his museum in Petaluma, Calif., in 2015 and 2016. However, Steve Sansweet says he only became aware of the thefts this February, when a friend's rare Boba Fett figure was discovered to have been stolen and sold to another collector. According to Sansweet, that collector claimed to have purchased the figure, and other items that should have been in Sansweet's collection, from a friend of Sansweet who previously stayed at his home.

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"When I saw the items missing … I was queasy. I was dumbfounded," Sansweet, who worked for Lucasfilm for more than 15 years, tells the Guardian. "This has been a devastating betrayal from someone I considered a friend for 20 years," he adds, per io9. "But already the Star Wars community has offered its support." Since Carl Edward Cunningham was charged with felony grand theft in March, two fans who purchased stolen items have offered to return them, Sansweet says. But he says he still needs help to discover if any other items were taken. He's urging fans and collectors to reach out if they have any knowledge of the thefts or suspect they've purchased stolen items. Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew are helping spread the word on Twitter. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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