$200K in Action Figures Stolen From 'Star Wars' Museum - NBC 7 San Diego

$200K in Action Figures Stolen From 'Star Wars' Museum

"This is despicable. Keep an eye out. Get the word out," said Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Charges Filed in Theft of 'Star Wars' Items From Petaluma Collector

    In "Star Wars, Episode IV," Obi-Wan Kenobi said, "In my experience there is no such thing as luck." Steve Sansweet thinks differently. (Published Monday, June 5, 2017)

    In the first "Star Wars" film, Obi-Wan Kenobi said, "in my experience there is no such thing as luck." Steve Sansweet thinks differently.

    Sansweet, the owner of the largest privately owned collection of Star Wars memorabilia in the world, said Monday he feels lucky he found out about the theft of $200,000 worth of prized vintage action figures from his California nonprofit museum before it was too late.

    About 120 pieces were stolen between 2015 and 2016 by a friend who stayed at the compound four times during that period, Sansweet said.

    The sprawling collections are set up on shelves and are not behind glass or under lock and key.

    ‘Tonight’: Jimmy Fallon and Lin-Manuel Miranda Sing Holiday Parodies

    [NATL] ‘Tonight’: Jimmy Fallon and Lin-Manuel Miranda Sing Holiday Parodies

    Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jimmy Fallon sing a medley of popular songs from 2018, like Migos' "Stir Fry," Ariana Grande's "No Tears Left to Cry" and Cardi B's "I Like It," and change the lyrics to make them about the holiday season.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018)

    About 100 of the stolen items have been recovered, he said.

    Police arrested Carl Edward Cunningham, 45, of Marietta, Georgia, and in March, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office charged him with felony grand theft.

    Cunningham is free on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to be in court June 27 for a preliminary hearing.

    Neither Cunningham, nor his lawyer, Amy Chapman, returned calls for comment.

    "It was very lucky we found out when we did — but not so lucky that he had a year to steal things," Sansweet said.

    Sansweet, the founder of Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, California, owns roughly 400,000 pieces of Star Wars memorabilia that are on display and shown to visitors.

    'Late Night’: Ronan's 'Mary Queen of Scots' Costume Altered Her

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: Ronan's 'Mary Queen of Scots' Costume Altered Her

    Saoirse Ronan talks about the physically altering effects of the costumes for "Mary Queen of Scots," acting with Margot Robbie and orchestrating dramatic plots for her childhood dolls.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018)

    That includes everything from the original banner Lucasfilm used to promote Star Wars at fan conventions in 1976, to a Darth Vader costume and all of the more than 2,500 small action figures issued over the past 40 years.

    The thefts surfaced after a collector learned he had inadvertently purchased a Boba Fett action figure stolen from a Texas warehouse, Sansweet said.

    Star Wars actors Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew tweeted about Sansweet's news Monday.

    "Maybe publish a list of stolen items to protect potential victims from purchasing 'hot' merchandise. #TheFraudIsStrongInThisOne #SithHappens," Hamill said.

    "This is despicable. Keep an eye out. Get the word out," Mayhew tweeted.