Owner of largest Star Wars memorabilia collection reports theft of more than 100 items

Steve Sansweet said a longtime friend had robbed him of more than 100 items, including rare vintage US and foreign carded action figures.
Steve Sansweet said a longtime friend had robbed him of more than 100 items, including rare vintage US and foreign carded action figures.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The owner of the biggest cache of Star Wars memorabilia said on Monday a long-time friend had robbed him of more than 100 items.

Mr Steve Sansweet, who runs Rancho Obi-Wan, a non-profit museum north of San Francisco that houses more than 400,000 collectibles, said the theft took place over several months in late 2015 through 2016.

"We're missing about 120 to 130 items," he told AFP. He said the majority of the items stolen are vintage US and foreign action figures.

He identified the suspect as Carl Cunningham, a well-known Star Wars collector.

"I've known him for 20 years," Mr Sansweet said.

"He had the run of the museum as few people had because we trusted him."

A spokesman for the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Cunningham on March 13 had been charged with felony grand theft and was free on bail.

Sergeant Spencer Crum said Cunningham had visited Mr Sansweet several times and had easy access to the collection recognised by the Guinness World Records as the largest in the world.