crime Archives - Page 3 of 17 - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
An attorney charged with embezzling more than $9 million from his former employer, only to spend much of it on high-priced collectibles like a copy of Detective Comics #27, was sentenced today in Houston to more than 40 years in prison.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Anthony Chiofalo, who landed a job in 2009 as head of legal affairs for Tadano America despite being disbarred in New York, pleaded guilty to the theft of more than $200,000, a first-degree felony. Prosecutors say within a year of being hired, Chiofalo began setting up dummy law firms that charged his employer for litigation work — to the tune of $9.3 million.
They say he used a sizable chunk of the money to purchase sports memorabilia and vintage comic books: When his home and storage units were raided, authorities found a baseball signed by Babe Ruth, a first-edition Playboy, and a copy of Detective Comics #27 worth about $900,000.
The case didn’t stop with Chiofalo, however, as Lonnie Blevins, an investigator with the Harris County’s District Attorney’s office, was later arrested and charged with taking some of those comic books following the raid and selling them to collectors. His case is pending in federal court. According to the newspaper, Blevins’ partner was suspended from the D.A.’s office, and then resigned; he hasn’t been charged.
What store owner Dave Downey called “the final chapter in the great Flintmobile Heist” came to a close Saturday as the three teens the replica appeared at World’s Best Comics and Toys in Sacramento, California, dressed as the Flintstones for Free Comic Book Day. And, of course, there’s video and photographic proof.
As we previously reported, the teenagers stole the 200-pound Flintmobile from in front of the store in mid-December, only to be apprehended about a month later. Instead of pursuing criminal charges against the apologetic culprits, Downey had a better idea: They could do some work around the store. However, this wasn’t just any work. As the retailer revealed last week, it would involve the trio dressing up as Fred, Wilma and Barney to help promote the store’s FCBD activities.
So when the apologetic thieves were caught just weeks later, and the 200-pound Flintmobile returned to the Sacramento, California, store, Downey declined to press charges, sparing them time in court and possibly even a criminal record. Instead, agreed to do some work at the store.
Thieves smashed the door of The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, California, this week and made off with about $7,000 in Silver Age comic books, including The X-Men, The Fantastic Four and The Amazing Spider-Man. However, owners Jun Goeku and Mike Wellman seem to have retained their sense of humor.
“I guess they couldn’t wait, and they started Free Comic Day early,” Goeku told Easy Reader of the theft, which occurred sometime between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday.
The retailers also posted a photo of the burglary’s aftermath (at right) on the store’s Facebook page, “We never let a little thing like a store burglary get in the way of a GOOD TIME! Spread the word far and wide that FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is STILL ON at The Comic Bug this Saturday! We have an unprecedented amount of awesome cosplayers and comic creators.”
Indeed, The Comic Bug’s FCBD lineup includes appearances by the likes of Richard Starkings, Barbara Kesel, Richard Isanove, Jeff Stokely and D.J. Kirkbride. The store also plans on Tuesday to take FCBD to the to the pediatric ward at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance.
Conventions | Ross Lincoln gathers up the threads of a story that’s been unfolding over social media for the past few days: A cosplayer expressed concern that the Facebook cosplay gallery for the inaugural Cherry City Comic Con in Salem, Oregon, featured significantly more women in costume than men. Displeased by the dismissive reply from the administrator of the Facebook page, she sent a private message asking for a refund of her convention registration fee, explaining, “I don’t think this will be a safe place for female cosplayers.” Organizer Mark Martin posted that request on his personal Facebook page with the response, “despite the no touch policy, the family friendly policy, the 3 security guards at all times, and the fact that you’re bat-shit crazy? Refunded!”
Several prominent cosplayers picked up on that, and it became a cause celebre on Twitter and Facebook for a couple of days; meanwhile, things got more complicated with sock puppets and a possibly fictitious con representative getting involved. In the end, Martin apologized; to give organizers their due, the convention includes a harassment policy in its official rules and policies. The con will take place on May 10-11. The Daily Dot has more. [The Escapist]
Comic stores from Los Angeles to San Diego have been notified following the reported theft of 14 longboxes from a home in Eagle Rock, California.
Collector Adam Rose tells CBS Los Angeles that someone removed the garage-door opener from his unlocked car and entered his garage, making off with about 7,000 comic books he stored there. They represent three decades’ worth of purchases.
Crime | Police in St. Charles, Missouri, have arrested 24-year-old Adam Radigan and charged him in the Monday-morning robbery of a comic store employee. The robbery occurred in the parking lot as the employee walked out of the Fantasy Shop with a bank bag that contained $26 in coins. The suspect allegedly indicated he had a gun and demanded the bag; after the employee handed it over, fled on foot. Nearby schools were briefly locked down after the incident. [The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KDSK]
Comics | “Seattle and the Northwest have carved a lasting niche in the comics world by applying the same traits to cartoons that we apply to music — lo-fi, provocative and introspective. Our comics are often funny as in peculiar, not necessarily funny as in laugh-out-loud, our heroes bumbling rather than swashbuckling”: Tyrone Beason looks at Seattle’s thriving alt-comics scene, and talks with Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, Tom Van Deusen and the organizers of the Short Run Comix and Arts Festival. [The Seattle Times]
Crime | Police in St. Charles, Missouri, are looking for a man who accosted an employee of the Fantasy Shop outside the comic store Monday morning and demanded she hand over a bank bag. The suspect, who indicated he had a gun, then fled with an undisclosed amount of money, leading to five local schools being put on lockdown for about 90 minutes. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
Creators | Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato discuss taking over as the creative team of Detective Comics with Issue 30. “We just want to carve out a small space in the Bat-world and craft stories that resonate with the legions of fans out there,” Buccalleto says. “It’s a tremendous honor to be a part of this legacy.” [USA Today]
The Davis Clipper reports a Davis County deputy stopped 33-year-old Christopher Reeves around 3 a.m. Tuesday after he was spotted weaving in and out of traffic in his Chevrolet HHR at speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour. That’s Reeves pictured at right, wearing the Superman T-shirt.
Yes, both the sheriff’s office and local media gleefully recognize the similarities between the suspect’s name and that of the late Superman actor Christopher Reeve. The Clipper used a “faster than a speeding bullet” reference, while Fox 13 went with, “He won’t be kneeling before Zod, but he will have to stand before a judge” (I’m pretty sure Fox 13 wins). Davis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Susan Poulsen acknowledged the T-shirt might not have been “a wise fashion choice” — but as we’re about to learn, wise choices may not be part of Reeves’ repertoire.
Police in Texas are searching for two suspects in a pickup truck that struck and killed a 23-year-old man outside a Houston-area movie theater following an argument about 300: Rise of an Empire.
According to KHOU 11 News, the dispute began shortly after midnight Monday in the restroom of the Silverado Movie Theater near Tomball, when two men allegedly injected themselves into a conversation between Michael Emerson and his two friends about whether the film might spawn a sequel (it’s a follow-up to 300, an adaptation of the 1998 Dark Horse limited series by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley).
Legal | Hirofumi Watanabe admitted Thursday in Tokyo District Court to sending hundreds of threatening letters to bookstores, convenience stores and convention centers associated with Tadatoshi Fujimaki’s manga Kuroko’s Basketball. The motive, the 35-year-old man said, was jealousy of Fujimaki’s success; Watanabe reasoned that, “If I somehow managed to harass and depress him, I could drag him into my suicide journey.” Watanabe added that he had been abused by his parents and bullied as a child, and had “homosexual tendencies.” He attempted suicide before he sent the threat letters and would do so again after he was freed, he told the court: “That way, society can rest assured that I won’t do anything stupid again.” [Anime News Network]
Legal | Attorney Marc H. Greenberg revisits the lawsuit brought by musicians Johnny and Edgar Winter against DC Comics over a 1995 storyline in Jonah Hex that portrayed two evil brothers, Johnny and Edgar Autumn. [Print]
Spider-Man had been a public menace for much of last year, getting into a confrontation with a women in Times Square, stealing $6,000 in cash and fighting two Captain Americas on Hollywood Boulevard before getting arrested in Pittsburgh following a store robbery. Heck, he was even blamed for the horrific violence in Venezuela. But in recent months the wall-crawler had appeared to give up his life of crime.
That changed last week when Spider-Man was captured on video robbing a 7-Eleven in Altamonte Springs, Florida, with the aid of a rifle and a masked sidekick, presumably one Andy Maguire, aka Alpha.
While the Batman of Gotham City is known for his signature cape and cowl, the Caped Crusader of New South Wales, Australia, may be best identified by his G-string.
Sydney’s 7News reports that police have charged a man who was caught on security cameras entering a second-hand store near Newcastle wearing only a G-string and then donning a Batman mask and cape. To cap off the ensemble, the scantily clad Dark Knight found a “bride to be” sash, because … what vigilante faces the forces of evil without a jaunty sash?
Police in Nottinghamshire, England, are on the lookout for the thief who swiped the sign for the sleepy village of Gotham. And while they don’t have any suspect, they are looking in the direction of Batman fans.
“It is of little scrap metal value, so it may be more to do with a prank, particularly given the name on it,” police community support officer Anthony Davies told the Nottingham Post. “But it is not a prank because it is going to cost Nottinghamshire County Council money to replace it, so I would ask anyone who knows where the sign is to let us know.”
An unfired bullet discovered last year in the Clinton Township, Michigan, building that once housed Comics World will be tested to see whether it’s connected to the 1990 murder of co-owner Barbara George.
Her husband Michael George was twice tried and twice convicted — first in 2008 and then in 2011 — in the fatal shooting, which prosecutors claim he staged to look like a robbery so he could collect money from an insurance policy and a shared estate, and start over with another woman. George, now 53, is serving life in prison without parole.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the bullet was found in February 2013 by an employee of the company that manages a building while he was cleaning the backroom where Barbara George was shot nearly 23 years earlier. It was turned over to township police, leading defense attorney Joseph Kosmala to file a motion in January for the bullet to be tested for ballistics, fingerprints and DNA (there was a filing delay because of a miscommunication between Kosmala and Michael George’s appellate attorney). Macomb County Circuit Judge Mary Chrzanowski granted that motion last week.