Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Theft from Star Wars 'Smithsonian' Rancho Obi-Wan



Rancho Obi-Wan, housing the largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia in the US, has lost $200,000 in stock.

Steve Sansweet, a household name to Star Wars fans and collectors, announced the theft on Monday.

Dear fellow Star Wars fans and collectors,

I need to share some distressing news with you because I need your help.

In February we at Rancho Obi-Wan found out that we had been the victim of a major theft that surreptitiously took place over many months in late 2015 through 2016.

There were more than 100 valuable items stolen, the majority of them vintage U.S. and foreign carded action figures, many of them rare and important pieces. Most have either been resold or professionally appraised for a total of more than $200,000.

The theft came to light after Philip Wise, a good friend, major collector and owner of several Star Wars websites, posted news of the theft of his rare prototype rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure from his Texas warehouse. Zach Tann, a respected toy dealer and collector in Southern California, immediately notified Philip that he had purchased that figure from Carl Edward Cunningham, 45, a well-known Star Wars collector and R2-D2 builder from Marietta, Georgia.

Tann further told Philip that he previously had bought many other rare Star Wars collectibles from Carl and sent a detailed list. Philip said that he quickly concluded by the quantity and quality of items that they had likely been stolen from my collection here in Petaluma, California.

Tann is working closely with us and authorities to help recover and return as many of the stolen collectibles as possible. Without Zach Tann’s call to Philip, which came despite great potential personal financial exposure to himself, we might still not know of the theft or its extent.

Carl surrendered on an arrest warrant from the Sonoma County, California Sheriff’s Department at the end of March and was charged with felony grand theft. He is currently free on bail with additional hearings in the case scheduled.

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.

If you have any information about Carl Cunningham’s activities or items that he has sold please write to tips@ranchoobiwan.org. If you think you may have purchased a stolen item, please 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.

Thank you for your help,
Steve Sansweet
Rancho Obi-Wan

This is a LIST OF ITEMS that hasn’t truly been accounted for. If you bought any of these, especially on eBay (user name: winterceltic) or through the Rebelscum.com forum in the last year from Carl Cunningham, please let us know at tips@ranchoobiwan.org
Han Solo (Large Head) 12 Back
Death Squad Commander 12B back Palitoy
Jawa 12 Back Palitoy
Sand People 12A-back Palitoy
Ben Kenobi 12 Back-B Takara Sticker
Jawa 20-back J
Hammerhead SW 21-back card
Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot SW 21 back
R5-D4 SW 21-back card
R2-D2 ESB 31-back card
Darth Vader ESB 41 Back-A
Luke Skywalker (Bespin) Brown hair 47-back
R2-D2 with Sensorscope ROTJ 65-back Palitoy
Chewbacca POTF 92 Back
Amanaman Palitoy Tri-Logo
Hammerhead Palitoy Tri-Logo
Luke Skywalker (brown hair) Palitoy Tri-Logo
Princess Leia Organa Palitoy Tri-Logo
Yak Face Palitoy Tri-Logo
LEGO Millennium Falcon Set Sealed #10179
LEGO Super Star Destroyer #10221
LEGO Rebel Snowspeeder #10129
LEGO Imperial Shuttle #10212
Death Star Spherical Cardboard Playset Toltoys box with Palitoy innards


Please help spread the word. Thank you.