A Mansfield shop-owner opened his own 'Sherlock Holmes' style investigation after burglars stole movie merchandise and tried to ransom it for cash.
Sci-fi fan Jon Pertwee, owner of Who’s Toys in Ratcliffe Gate, Mansfield was livid after burglars broke into his shop and stole movie memorabilia, model Star Trek ships and Doctor Who action figures.
Jon, 50, who had his name changed in honour of his favourite Doctor Who actor, said police made two arrests after the burglary but did not have enough evidence for a conviction.
So he started his own investigation, and tracked down some of the rare and collectible items being posted on Facebook 'For Sale' pages. He also used his network of contacts to keep an eye out, resulting in some of the less valuable stock being returned.
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“It was all a bit Sherlock Holmes,” he said. “I spoke to people around the shop and someone had a photograph of this bloke lurking around the back. We looked on all the For Sale sites on Gumtree and Facebook and spoke to people, and we managed to get eight or nine items back."
The game was really afoot after the story appeared in the Chad, and the burglar himself called Jon to offer back his stock – for a price.
Jon said: “The guy must have seen it and he called me up and said ‘I see you’re stuff is worth £600’. I said do you know where it is and he said ‘I’m looking at it right now – if you give me £600 I’ll give you all your stuff back’.”
“I tried to arrange to meet him nit in the end he got aggressive and slammed the phone down – and that was it.”
The police investigation found two suspects but they were both ultimately released without charge.
Sadly Jon’s ‘Moriarty’ still evades capture, but after his insurance refused to pay out, friends started an appeal on Kickstarter asking for funds to replace all the stolen stock, raising £500 in it’s first day.
Jon is well connection in the sci-world, having been a film reviewer for the BBC for 30 years, and friendly actors came to his aid to appeal for help finding the stolen goods. They included Jeremy Bulloch who played Boba Fett in the original Star Wars movies, Nicholas Briggs – the voice of the Daleks.
Among the items stolen were Star Trek ships, batman, Star Wars and Game of Thornes action figures, model TARDISes from Doctor Who, movie cookie jars, limited edition mugs and other collectibles.
Jon has been re-purchasing a lot of stock to bring the shop back into business, and he’s also ramped up security with cameras and a selection of alarms with a direct link to the police.
The great lover of sci-fi and film added: “This whole experience was violating. I was absolutely devastated – my whole world had been destroyed. I was bullied mercilessly for being a geek at school, and it made be feel like these no-brain bullies are still picking on me.”
Nottinghamshire Police confirmed the incident on August 5 and said the case had been closed. A spokesperson said: “There were two arrests but no charges due to insufficient evidence, but if new evidence comes to light it will be re-opened.”