Robot 6

Superman thief sentenced to six years in prison

Mike Meyer

The Illinois man who stole thousands of dollars worth of Superman memorabilia from a mentally disabled collector in late August has been sentenced to six years in prison.

The Belleville News Democrat reports that Gerry Armbruster, 38, pleaded guilty today to stealing the collection from Mike Meyer and assaulting and robbing an elderly man. Armbruster befriended Meyer, a 48-year-old man who lives on Social Security and works part-time at McDonald’s, before swindling him out of more than 1,800 Superman comics, figures and other memorabilia he’d been collecting since 1974.

News of the theft drew worldwide attention, with fans and creators from as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom rallying to replace Meyer’s stolen items.

Police arrested Armbruster in mid-September while investigating the forcible robbery of money and jewelry from a 76-year-old man, and were able to recover Meyer’s collection. The grateful fan, who lives with his dogs Krypto and Dyno, pledged to give the donated memorabilia to charity. “People were generous to me,” he said at the time. “This is how I can be generous in return.”

Armbruster’s sentencing comes as Meyer is on vacation in Cleveland, birthplace of Superman, courtesy of Carol & John’s Comic Book Shop. He and Keith Howard, who organized the effort to replace the stolen items, visited the former home of Jerry Siegel on Monday, and today toured area comic shops, where they received gift certificates. Their trip will conclude tonight with a party at Carol & John’s.

“I feel like I’m connected with Siegel and Shuster,” Meyer told the Plain Dealer from the living room of the Siegel house, “a piece of history was created here.”

News From Our Partners

Comments

26 Comments

Kindness….it beats all, kudos to Carol and John’s!

I would like to have been there as the courtroom ceiling rolled back and the mirror came flying down to collect him…

Frank Miller’s anger would be better directed at this Superman thief.

Yeah stories like this about people’s generoisty from across the globe really warm your heart. Of course you counter that with stories of people robbing the elderly and mentally challenged.

You just hope and remind yourself that the good guys outnumber the bad guys.

“I would like to have been there as the courtroom ceiling rolled back and the mirror came flying down to collect him”

LOL I hope the judge proounced him “GUILTY” like those Council of Krypton guys.

No lie, this brought a tear to my eye:

‘The grateful fan, who lives with his dogs Krypto and Dyno, pledged to give the donated memorabilia to charity. “People were generous to me,” he said at the time. “This is how I can be generous in return.”’

Also, LOL@Vinnie’s comment.

That’s what I’m talking about. This touched me and I’m proud to be comic fan. Just to see how many rallied around Mr. Meyer and he in return donated what was given to him. God bless you.

YES, the American justice system DOES it get right sometimes!

Gerry Armbruster, there’s a nice little corner of HELL reserved for you when you eventually kick it. You are the lowest form of life there is, for taking advantage of a mentally disabled person and assaulting a geriatric!!!

“Social Security and works part-time at McDonald’s, before swindling him out of more than 1,800 Superman comics, figures and other memorabilia he’d been collecting since 1974.”
Good to know Social Security allows him to support his Superman habit.

Finally some good news! Great that Mr. Meyer got his collection back.

Good for him! He deserves every minute of every hour of every day of every year that he serves! This crime is unconscionable! I’ m glad to see that justice was served. One has to be some really kind of scum to steal from a handicapped person. Shame. Good people need to be aware of these things so that we can catch someone taking advantage of someone else and try to prevent it. We’re all better than that.

@Gooder: Mr. Meyer also works part-time at McDonald’s to supplement his income. Also, he’s been slowly building his modest Superman collection since 1974. It’s not like the guy is working the system, dude. I’ve read everything about this case and it’s clear that Mr. Meyer is a kind, honest and generous man.

Now THOSE are comic book fans done right! Generous, understanding, and appreciative.

Sorry to be that guy, but the most ungrateful thing he could do is donate all that stuff. People paid postage to send it TO HIM whereas they did not intend for many of the things to go to a random charity of his choosing. I get that he just wanted his original stuff back, but the point is he never wanted the donated items like a signed Jim Lee new 52 comic in the first place, so it was a silly movement. I don’t think a charity will have much use for all the customized stuff either. The best thing he could’ve done was just keep the damn stuff and say “thank you.”

Brian-

I dunno, the stuff was donated to replace his collection, and he made the choice that it wouldn’t be fair to keep all the new stuff and end up with a collection twice the size. I guess he could have offered to send it all back to people, but I’ll bet there’s not a lot of folks who’d have disagreed with his choice.

Now if his last name was Kardashian, I might have a dfferent opinion…

Glad to hear the criminal was caught/convicted. I think giving what was sent to him to charity made the most sense. He’s in turn helping others like he was helped and spreading the joy of comic books is a good ending to what started out as a really sad story.

I say 6 years in the phantom zone!

@Gooder: So people on Social Security shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy anything ever? 1,800 comics since 1974 is hardly gaming the system. Have a heart.

I, for one, am very glad he has his own personal stuff back, and I think he’s proven himself to be a stand-up guy for donating the extra stuff. He’s happy, and despite the crime, he’s going to make others happy. Kal-El would be proud.

This story got me a bit emotional. I hate it when good people are taken advantage of. Kudos to Carol & John for being so generous.

@ Gooder – get over yourself – he is obviously a ‘special’ case – still working a McDonalds in his 40′s. Show a bit of compassion.

I got a lump in the throat reading this. Superman would be proud. As for the thief The Phantom Zone’s too good for him. It would be poetic justice if he ends up ‘Kneeling before Zod’ while in prison

I was happy when I first read that Mike’s collection was recovered and the culprit arrested. Still am. Glad to see that the justice system does, in fact, work sometimes.

I can only hope that Gerry Armbruster gets a “special prison welcome” the first time he hits the showers.

“Gooder”….seems to be a misnomer.

The item were collected and sent to Mike in good faith to let him know that there are some genuine, caring people in the world, and to not give up just because one low life took advantage of him.

The items that were sent were to replace his stolen collection, and then some. The outpouring of compassion from fellow fans in the Superman and comics family was incredibly heartwarming.

We had no idea if Mike was ever going to get his collection back, and in true Superman “Pay It Forward” style, he didn’t horde or sell the gifts he was sent when his collection was returned. He took it to a Children’s Hospital and made a bunch of sick kids happy.

The only loser in this story is the dirtbag who befriended a disabled man only to steal the things that made him the happiest.

“They can be a great people, Kal-El.”

glad to hear justice was served in this case. and mike showed how cool he is buy repaying the kindness showed him when his stuff was taken by donating the extra to charity and spreading his love of superman. plus he also will have the memories of seeing the place where his hero was created.

Like others on here, I just wanted to say I like this story and think it’s a rare good news story to hear of such an exploitative D@#k getting his due comeuppance. Looks like the spirit of Siegel & Shuster’s original Superman is alive these days in more ways than one!

Oh aye, as for this ‘gaming the system’ nonsense: tell it to Frank Miller, dude.

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives