Last Thursday, two Florida men were arrested for allegedly stealing and attempting to resell a comic book collection valued at $30,000. From their grandparents. Yes, their grandparents.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office in Pensacola, FL charged Nicholas and Robert Mason with grand theft and 16 counts of dealing with stolen property. According to the police report filed the brothers had been taking comics from their relatives often during their time doing housework for the elderly couple.
“They said that their grandparents had owned a comic book shop,” said Rick Ferrell, owner of Loot Castle, one of the comic book shops involved, the other being PriceBustersGames.com. “They led me to believe the grandparents had passed away and the comics had been left to them.”
Shirley and Johnny Pate, the grandparents of the Mason brothers, are alive and well. In noticing their collection was missing in late July has caused the Pates a lot of agony since “they counted on the collection as part of their retirement savings.” Upon learning their comic books had been taken, the Pates suspected their grandsons, as they would do work around the house for them.
Thanks to a computerized reporting system for transactions, when Loot Castle owner Ferrell accepted the stolen comics, as procedure the customer has to give a photo ID, which gets entered into a computer, and also are required to submit a signature and thumbprint. “That way when law enforcement goes looking, the information is there,” said ABC3 reporter Meg McNamara.
“If you’re going to do something like this, think twice because you’re going to get caught,” said Santa Rosa County police sergeant Rich Alloy.
Here’s the news broadcast from ABC3 News (WEAR-TV network) in Pensacola, Florida…