Thief Breaks into Empire’s Comics Vault, Makes Off with Cash, iPad, Rare Comics

ARDEN-ARCADE -- Two clumsy little pugs add a lot of character to one comic book shop in Arden Arcade.

They usually guard the front door, but early Thursday morning, Captain Dylan and Rolly Polly were off the clock. Someone broke into Empire's Comics Vault and ripped them off.

“How did you break the news to them that someone broke in last night?" FOX40 asked Empire's Comics Vault owner Ben Schwartz.

“I haven’t told them yet, they’re gonna find out when they come down and they’re gonna sniff that door for a long time because it’s different," he said.

The front door has since been boarded up, but the thief made off with an iPad, the contents of the cash register, and most notable, DC and Marvel variants -- comics with the same contents but different covers. The ones that were taken were 1 to 25 or 1 to 50.

“Meaning you would only get one copy with that cover for every 50 you order, so they’re rare, and that’s what they went for," Schwartz said.

That's why Schwartz thinks the thief is familiar with comics -- might even be a collector himself, which is upsetting to these guys who've poured their hearts and souls into building a business in a tight-knit community.

"You know, it hits ya," Schwartz said.

And maybe it will hit the thief, too.

"Maybe when they’re at home tonight looking over their gains they’re like, man, I just stole from a comic book store. And I’m a comic book fan. How could I do this? Why did I do this?” said Patrick Clarke with Empire's Comics Vault.

They're just lucky the pugs didn't catch them. However, they might have been caught on camera. Before they turn it over to police, they're casually requesting whoever took the stuff to bring it back.

"Please? That would be lovely. Just like, drop it off sometime. That would be nice,” Clarke said.