Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Prized comic book collection, worth $12,000, is stolen

PORT RICHEY — It was Sunday, the day after his 37th birthday, and Peter Keenan was at his regular comic book store when something caught his eye. Many of the items on the racks at Colossal Comics in New Port Richey looked familiar, like ones he had stored at an ex-girlfriend's house, right down to cards he taped inside the plastic sleeves.

He called his ex, Natasha Cornell, and when she checked the closet, where he stored the comics in acid-free cardboard boxes, she discovered the majority were missing. Keenan, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office, reported 1,500 comics worth $12,000 stolen. One, The Incredible Hulk, was worth $1,200, according to the report. It did not say what year it was published. Keenan, an unemployed cab driver, declined comment and the report does not say why the collection was at his former girlfriend's house. She also declined to talk to the Times.

An investigation led authorities to Jeffrey Curl, a 26-year-old unemployed friend of Cornell's. Curl, who lives in Port Richey, was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand theft. As of Thursday, he was being held in the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $5,000 bail.

According to the arrest report, Curl confessed to taking the comics, but said Andrew Martinez was the mastermind and paid him with Roxicodone, a prescribed painkiller, for his help. Martinez, the 23-year-old boyfriend of Cornell's sister, told authorities he was duped by Curl, who told him the comic books were his. Martinez has not been charged.

Jason Heely, manager at Colossal Comics, told the Times that Curl and Martinez were in his store together six or seven times during July and that he paid them nearly $1,000 for all the comic books they brought in.

He said Keenan is a regular who comes in twice a week.

"He's disgruntled," Heely said, adding he sold some of the comics he bought from Curl and Martinez and is awaiting word from authorities on how to return any that might belong to Keenan. Heely said Keenan, however, didn't have a precise inventory of his collection.

"I don't know what he's going to do," Heely said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Prized comic book collection, worth $12,000, is stolen 07/23/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Odessa teacher arrested on theft charges after deputies say she stole from fellow teacher

    Crime

    A Odessa elementary school teacher is facing theft charges after Hillsborough County deputies said she swiped money and a credit card from another teacher on the playground.

    Sylvia Clark, 58, a teacher at Hammond Elementary School in Odessa, faces charges after Hillsborough County deputies say she took money from a fellow teacher and used a stolen credit card. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs, trying to get even with Joe Maddon

    Blogs

    After a tough 2-1 loss on Tuesday, the Rays take on the Cubs again tonight, looking to split the two-game series with former manager Joe Maddon.

    The Rays are starting young LHP Blake Snell, and the Cubs are starting veteran LHP Jon Lester.

    Here is the Rays lineup:

    Kiermaier cf,

  3. Mexicans dig through collapsed buildings as quake kills 225 (w/video)

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Rescuers found a surviving child on Wednesday in the ruins of a school that collapsed in Mexico's magnitude 7.1 earthquake, one of many efforts across the city to try to save people trapped in debris under schools, homes and businesses toppled by the quake that killed at least 225 people.

    A man is rescued from a collapsed building in the Condesa neighborhood after an earthquake struck Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. The 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico, killing more than 100 people. [Associated Press]
  4. Hurricane Maria tears off roofs, triggers flooding in Puerto Rico

    Hurricanes

    we

    [National Hurricane Center]
  5. Construction starts on USF medical school, the first piece of Tampa's Water Street project

    Health

    TAMPA — Dozens of workers in hard hats and boots were busy at work at the corner of South Meridian Avenue and Channelside Drive Wednesday morning, signaling the start of construction on the University of South Florida's new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute.

    A rendering shows what the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute will look like when completed in 2019. Local officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate as construction begins on the facility, the first piece of the Water Street redevelopment area in downtown Tampa. [Rendering courtesy of the USF Health]