In a sad turn of events, Rancho Obi-Wan – the biggest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia in the United States – lost $200,000 in stock to theft.
Rancho Obi-Wan, the largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia in the United States, has been hit hard by theft.
Monday afternoon, the collection’s owner Steve Sansweet announced that $200,000 in collectibles were stolen from his warehouse in Petaluma, CA throughout 2015 and 2016. The thief who took the items, Carl Edward Cunningham, was well-known and trusted at Rancho Obi-Wan. His crime was only discovered when one of his buyers realized an item he bought was stolen from another warehouse in Texas. Soon enough, the connection was made between Cunningham and the stolen goods from Rancho Obi-Wan.
Currently, Cunningham is free on bail after a conviction of felony grand theft. Additional hearings for the case are scheduled.
Sansweet and his team are crushed by the betrayal:
"I have known Carl for many years, considered him a good and trusted friend, and played host to him at my home numerous times. I, and the staff at Rancho Obi-Wan, are devastated that he is the alleged perpetrator of the thefts. Not only have important items been stolen from the collection, but also our time, energy and ability to trust unconditionally have taken a blow."
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Sansweet further entreats collectors who purchased items from Cunningham to “be patient while we work through this process.”
"It is our goal to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and to continue to use the collection at Rancho Obi-Wan to “Inspire through the Force” despite the destruction caused by one person."
Rancho Obi-Wan’s mission is to preserve Star Wars collectibles and memorabilia for the purposes of education and creative inspiration. It is sad that someone felt the need to use this wonderful non-profit organization so horribly.
To help Rancho Obi-Wan out, donate money on their website here or email any tips you have on Cunningham and the stolen items to email@example.com.