The Birmingham Mail has reported "A huge haul of toys, collectibles and old comics worth over £500,000 were stolen from an online retailer's storage unit. Thieves swiped goods including Marvel, Star Wars and Transformers action figures in the raid on the Wolverhampton unit last month. The stolen haul was later retrieved by cops investigating large-scale burglaries across the Black Country and Cheshire, which are believed to be linked. Raids carried out by the West Midlands force uncovered tens of thousands of boxes filled with stolen goods including action figures, Game of Thrones souvenirs, board games, imported collectibles from across the globe and comics dating back decades. The haul had been stolen from an industrial unit in Wolverhampton – where they were being stored by an online retailer which trades worldwide – and from an associated distributor's warehouse in Runcorn."
We know a distributor based in Runcorn, don't we, children? Diamond UK. Who last month reported a major theft, the investigation of which delayed deliveries to comic stores. At the time we listed some of the Star Wars and Marvel items that had been stolen, but knew there was much more. Mike Holman of Diamond UK told us at the time "The thieves also managed to get away with my own signed copy of Taschen's Stan Lee book, a Hot Toys full-scale Thanos Gauntlet, a HUGE collection of UK pocket libraries – War / Battle / Commando etc and my collection of UK comics from the 1960's – Lion / Knockout / Smash / Hurricane etc. Plus our Diamond offices are now sadly missing our own Caped Crusader!"
The Mail reports that police found £200,000 worth of stock inside trailers on a storage yard, that they were told about other stolen collectibles being sold online, which lead to a raid on a business unit in Yorkshire, seizing thousands of stolen goods and the arrest of a 42-year-old man on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
They quote DC Emily-Jane Parker, from CID, saying "We've managed to seize and return a huge haul of stolen goods taken during the burglaries. We retrieved tens of thousands of boxes packed full of toys and collectibles which would have made hundreds of thousands of pounds if all sold on. We believe these were stolen as part of an organised operation which impacted upon not only the West Midlands, but elsewhere in the country. We know the financial and emotional impact of being a burglary victim and we're pleased to have recovered such a substantial amount of 'hot property. The business owners told us it has returned their livelihoods and we're humbled to have been able to do so – especially given the impact of the pandemic. But we won't let up until we catch and charge those responsible and our enquiries are very much ongoing."
Diamond UK did not respond to enquiries made over the weekend.