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Hundreds of people poured into the World’s Best Comics and Toys in Arden Arcade to receive free comics on Free Comic Book day. It is celebrated on the first Saturday of May every year.

“It started out kind of small, but it’s grown every year, and now it’s a huge event. It’s one of my best days all year long,” Dave Downey, owner of World’s Best Comics and Toys said.

Many were lured by three teenagers cheering at the Watt intersection, dressed up as Fred, Barney, and Wilma from the Flintstones. The three are the thieves who stole the store’s trademark “Flintmobile” in December. Authorities later found video footage of the three carrying the car into the bed of a truck and driving away.

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flintstones car
Photo of the Flintstones car courtesy of World’s Best Comics and Toys.

Deputies recovered the replica and found the teens in January. However, Downey never pressed charges. Instead, he asked the three to dress up as Flintstones characters, and work for him on the busiest day of the year. From 10 am to 7 pm the three teens danced, waved, held signs, and lured drivers into the store’s parking lot.

“I’m glad that, instead of having a normal punishment, we can give back to them instead,” said 17 year-old Bradley, who wore a dress and an orange wig to become Wilma.

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Since the theft, Downey has added extra chains and locks on the back tire of the replica.

“There will be no extra traveling for the Flintmobile,” he said. “This is its permanent parking space, right here.”

The boys said after they stole the car, they never did anything with it. They expressed their gratitude for the owner, and said their stealing days were over.

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