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Man pleads not guilty to charges he posed as agent to score con passes

The crowd at Salt Lake Comic Con 2015

The crowd at Salt Lake Comic Con 2015

A Utah man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he posed as a federal agent to try to secure VIP passes to Salt Lake Comic Con.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jonathon M. Wall of Layton, Utah, was indicted in October on charges of impersonating a federal officer and making a false statement to a federal agent. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in prison on the first count and up to five years on the second. Each count also carries a potential fine of $250,000.

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Comics A.M. | Burglars strike Houston store at lightning speed

The smashed door at the Pop Culture Company in Houston

The smashed door at the Pop Culture Company in Houston

Crime | The thieves who broke into the Pop Culture Company store in Houston, Texas, early Tuesday knew what they were doing: Surveillance video shows just three minutes elapsed between when they hurled a sledgehammer through the store’s glass door and when they left with the cash register, the safe, a laptop and a tablet. Although the three burglars ignored the comics and toys, damage to the store is estimated between $7,000 and $8,000. The speed of the robbery has police and store owner Robert Quijano thinking these are seasoned pros. “This is obviously what they do,” Quijano said. “I get up in the morning, I come to work, I sell comic books. They get up in the evening and they go out and they steal things from people.” [Click2Houston]

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Thieves steal $20,000 worth of LEGO from Ontario toy store

lego-robbery

Police are on the hunt for three men who forced their way into a toy store in Hamilton, Ontario, last month and hit the bricks with more than $20,000 worth of LEGO.

It’s thought the robbery may have been motivated by the skyrocketing demand for LEGO, which has triggered a holiday shortage in Europe and effectively created a black market for the toys.

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Men suspected of plotting Pokemon attack plead not guilty

Kevin Norton, left, and James Stumbo

Kevin Norton, left, and James Stumbo

Bail was set Tuesday at $150,000 for the two Iowa men accused of plotting an armed attack against the Pokemon World Championships, held in Boston in August. That’s double the amount requested by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in Suffolk Superior Court on charges of possession of a large-capacity weapon and other crimes.

The Boston Herald reports that in setting the bail, Suffolk Superior Court Clerk-Magistrate Gary D. Wilson explained their are no conditions of release that would prevent the defendants from purchasing more firearms. “They can buy guns anywhere: Wal-Mart, Bass Pro Shops. … I’m not going to add a thousand conditions that are virtually unenforceable.”

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Men suspected in Pokemon championship plot head back to court

Kevin Norton, left, and James Stumbo

Kevin Norton, left, and James Stumbo

Two Iowa men suspected of plotting to attack the Pokemon World Championships in August will be arraigned today in a Boston courtroom.

Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, have been held without bail on firearms charges since their arrests on Aug. 22 after police found guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the car the two drove to the Boston event. Prosecutors say they made multiple online threats against the Pokemon World Championships, which they’d been invited to attend.

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Man accused of stealing $30,000 ‘Star Wars’ collection

star-wars-stolen

In a blow to the Dark Side, a Washington man stands accused of stealing a $30,000 collection of vintage Star Wars toys and selling it to pay off a $2,250 debt.

The Columbian reports 24-year-old Benjamin J. Milam appeared Monday in a courtroom in Vancouver, Washington, to face charges of trafficking in stolen property, residential burglary and first-degree theft.

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Comics A.M. | Reward offered for return of stolen vintage comics

Batman #33 is among the missing comics

Batman #33 is among the missing comics

Crime | A woman in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the return of her brother’s collection of 280 vintage comics, including issues of Detective Comics, Batman, The Avengers and Captain America. Gail Munroe believes they were taken last month from her driveway as she was unloading her car; she briefly left the suitcase they were in unattended, but didn’t realize until days later that it was missing. She’s released a full list of the titles. [CBC News]

Conventions | Nick Vivarelli reports in from the Lucca (Italy) Comics and Games Festival, which with 254,000 attendees is the second-largest comic con in the world. [Variety]

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Man allegedly kills ‘zombie’ friend, blames ‘The Walking Dead’

The-Walking-Dead-Logo3

A New Mexico man who had been binge-watching The Walking Dead allegedly told police he beat his friend to death because he was changing into a zombie.

The Associated Press reports 23-year-old Damon Perry of Grants, New Mexico, is being held on a murder charge in the death of Christopher Paquin, also 23.

Police were called Thursday afternoon to an apartment complex, where Perry was allegedly wielding a knife. When they arrived, they discovered the brutally beaten body of Paquin in an apartment, and Perry being detained by maintenance workers.

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Spritely Bean comics cafe launches fundraiser following break-in

SpritelyBean

The Portland, Oregon, comics cafe The Spritely Bean was broken into last week, and whoever did it wreaked considerable damage to the store, smashing the glass door and vandalizing equipment.

That’s the bad news. The good news is the shop, which specializes in independent, creator-owned comics and locally sourced food and coffee, has already built a loyal following: The GoFundMe campaign to raise $5,000 to replace the damaged and stolen property has almost hit its mark. The store was closed last Thursday and Friday but was able to reopen on Saturday.

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Police assure parents ‘Death Note’ doesn’t pose a threat

death note

Police and school officials in Nashua, New Hampshire, held a public forum Wednesday night to soothe concerns about a Death Note-inspired notebook discovered last week at a local high school.

The list, found Oct. 9 at Nashua High School North, reportedly contained the names of 17 students, along with a description of how and when they would die. In Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s hit manga turned anime and live-action movie franchise, a high school student sets out to rid the world of evil using a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it.

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New Hampshire high school shaken by ‘Death Note’ scare

death note

The discovery of a Death Note-inspired notebook at a New Hampshire high school has left parents rattled.

According to NH1, administrators at Nashua High School North met Tuesday with the parents of 17 students who were listed in the book, along with a description of how and when they would die.

“This book was found by a student with the ways, times and dates 17 students were going to die,” one unnamed parent said. “My daughter in particular was pretty horrific, disturbing and explicit.” School officials maintain that no one was ever in any danger.

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Woman allegedly spoke to Batman doll, used it to assault cop

batman-puppet master

In a scenario that even The Joker might find a bit weird, a Missouri woman allegedly attacked a police officer with a 3-foot Batman doll, to which she spoke. For the purposes of this story, let’s call her … The Ventriloquist.

As you might have guessed, meth and alcohol are believed to have been involved.

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Phony Craigslist comic book sale turns into $50,000 armed robbery

Photo Credit: The Morning Call's Chris Knight

Photo Credit: The Morning Call’s Chris Knight

Catfishing is only a part of the dangers that await people on Craigslist.

That’s only part of the lesson of a horrifying and amazing story from Lower Macungie, PA that’s circulating in the local media. Allentown’s The Morning Call has a story up on a comic book sale set up via the ubiquitous personal ads site that turned out to be armed robbery ruse.

After contacting someone claiming to have a massive private comics collection for sale, 51-year-old former shop owner Gene Bartholomew and a friend showed up at a wealthy-looking yet for sale house with $50,000 in cash on Thursday. When Bartholomew found three armed men instead of long boxes in the backyard, he tossed the cash over a fence and charged the robbers head on.

The paper recounts the harrowing event in detail, noting that while Bartholomew lost his money, he was able to subdue one 22-year-old suspect who is now in police custody. The other two men made off with the cash. See a report on the robbery from local station WFMZ below the jump.

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Comics A.M. | Stolen Dennis the Menace statue found a decade later

Dennis the Menace statue

Dennis the Menace statue

Crime | A bronze statue of Dennis the Menace stolen nearly a decade ago from a playground in Monterey, California, was discovered in a scrapyard in Orlando, Florida. Commissioned by cartoonist Hank Ketcham and installed in 1988 at the Dennis the Menace Playground, the life-size statue is valued at between $25,000 and $30,000. The statue was about to be melted with other metal objects last month when the scrapyard owner’s daughter recognized the comic strip character. Monterey officials replaced the statue five months after it disappeared; they’ll move the replacement once the original is returned. [ABC 7 News]

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Suspects in alleged Pokemon plot will remain in jail

Kevin Norton, left, and James Stumbo

Kevin Norton, left, and James Stumbo

Two Iowa men suspected of planning a mass shooting last month at the Pokemon World Championships in Boston will be held without bail for the next four months.

Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Joseph Janezic argued today in a dangerousness hearing that Kevin Norton, 18, and James Stumbo, 27, weren’t mere ” keyboard commandos,” but instead possessed the capabilities to carry out their alleged online threats.

According to The Boston Globe, the prosecutor was able to sway Judge Thomas C. Horgan, who determined the defendants are too dangerous to be free while they await trial.

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