In a story that seems like it should be an origin story for a new crime-fighting superhero, a Saint Louis comic book store owner managed to thwart the thieves who had stolen his person collection.
Losing His Collection
Martin Casas stored his collection of 3000 comic books at a storage unit while he was renovating his home. The thieves cut the bolt on the padlock and made away with 10 boxes of books whose titles spanned the last 30 years, which represented a big chunk of Casas’s history as a reader. Those books represented moments in his life, including the birth of his daughter, his marriage, and the death of his father.
Those issues were truly irreplaceable, and Casas recalls that he was “boiling on the inside, seething,” when he arrived at the unit to see what had been taken in the robbery. Police were not much help; a series of similar thefts from storage units had gone unsolved for months. There were no security cameras in that part of the facility, and no leads to help track down the missing books.
A Lucky Break
But Casas owns the local comic book store, Apotheosis Comics & Lounge. He told his employees to keep an eye out for sellers with books from the stolen boxes. A few days later, a woman called about selling some comics. That’s hardly unusual in Casas’s business, but when she dropped off the box at the store for review, he had no trouble recognizing it. It was labeled on the side in his own handwriting!
Just to make sure, he searched through the Captain America comics to see if he could find a particular book from last year that had a small mark on the cover. When he found the book, he knew for sure. In a deliciously ironic fail, the thieves had tried to sell stolen goods to their original owner.
‘We Do Storage Units’
Casas called the police and then the woman who’d tried to sell him the comics. “This is a great collection,” he told her, somehow not giving away the game. “You’ve got at least a couple hundred dollars in comics there.”
He recalls her reply clearly: “Me and my boyfriend, we do storage units.” So like, that’s a confession, right?
Casas tracked down her Facebook page, where she was selling a huge variety of goods that looked like the kind of thing one might find in a storage unit. He arranged a meeting with her and then coordinated with police to lay in wait. The cops arrested the woman and her boyfriend, and the pair confessed to stealing the comics.
Casas Saves the Day!
Police recovered not only his entire collection but also other missing items from the unsolved robberies. Casas got his comics–which he admits have more sentimental value than anything else–and the criminals got caught. Best of all, many of the other victims were reunited with their stolen property. That sounds like a pretty satisfying adventure for any hero!