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Burglary Suspects Pick Wrong Store to Sell Stolen Comics

After allegedly stealing St. Louis man's collection, they went to his comics store with the goods
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2019 8:41 AM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/justtscott)

(Newser) – When someone broke into a storage locker earlier this month and stole Martin Casas' personal collection of 3,000 comic books, which he'd painstakingly built up over three decades, he was put out but not hopeless that they were gone forever. That's because Casas also happens to own a St. Louis comic book store—and he had a plan, per the Riverfront Times. First, he alerted his staff to be on the lookout for anyone trying to sell comic books in bulk; KTVI notes he reached out to other local comic-book store owners to put them on alert as well. Just days later, a call came in from a woman who said she had a box of comics to sell, and when she dropped the box off to be appraised, Casas was quickly able to find identifying markers on both the box and the comic books to show it was his property.

He called the woman to ask if she had even more to sell, and if she could come in the next day so he could pay her for "her" wares. Yes, she said, per Casas: "Me and my boyfriend, we do storage units." Casas arranged for the police to hide out in the store for her arrival, and when she and her boyfriend showed up, they were taken into custody and revealed where the rest of Casas' collection was. "While I did not POW! or have the ability to ZAP! I did have the power to make a phone call to the police and impatiently wait for the thieves," Casas tweeted after the bust. He says he felt a little bad for the couple, though he tells the Times, "No one ever wakes up and says, 'I want to grow up and break into storage units.'" He says of the entire experience: "It was absolutely the most bizarre 24 hours of my life." It's not clear if the two alleged thieves have yet been charged. (Read more weird crimes stories.)

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