Steve Sansweet, who has the world’s largest collection of Star Wars collectible and memorabilia, recently discovered that his extensive collection was robbed by someone he thought was a friend. The Ranch is the life’s work of Star Wars fan and former head of fan relations at Lucasfilm.
Star Wars fans who collect memorabilia from the iconic film franchise are being urged to double check any purchases of rare items. They may be among the many items stolen from Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, CA.
According to The Guardian Steve just recently discovered that more than $200,000 worth of rare collectibles were missing from his museum collection. He was able to trace the theft to a long time friend, Carl Edward Cunningham. Cunningham lived in Marietta, GA but was recently arrested in California. He sold rare collectibles to fans around the world. Now it seems that some of those collectibles were actually stolen from Rancho Obi-Wan.
Cunningham’s alleged theft was only discovered after another dealer posted the details of an item that was stolen from his collection. When a fan posted that he had bought the stolen collectible from Cunningham Sansweet and the other dealer started to compare notes. That’s when Sansweet took a full inventory of his massive collection and discovered a large number of extremely rare collectibles were no longer in the collection.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 5, 2017
As a friend Cunningham regularly had access to Sansweet’s collection at Rancho Obi-Wan because Sansweet had no reason to distrust Cunningham. In typical Star Wars fan fashion, fans are now rallying to help Sansweet recover as many of the stolen items as possible so they can be returned to Rancho Obi-Wan. Some people who unknowingly bought stolen merchandise are returning it free of charge so that the items can be put back where they belong. The fan community takes theft and other infractions seriously and it’s heartwarming to see so many fans around the world to step up to help out a fellow collector who has spent decades creating the largest collection of Star Wars collectibles on record.
Fans who have recently bought rare collectibles from Cunningham or from dealers that do business with Cunningham are urged to contact Steve Sansweet through Rancho Obi-Wan to make sure that their purchases are not on the list of items that were stolen from his collection.