Ugh. This is one of those stories that makes you sick to your stomach.
The story began in Rochester, N.Y., this summer, as comic collector Homer Marciniak was trying to sell his comic book collection. It was valued at anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000, according to reports from the Associated Press.
The problem was that Marciniak told that to tavern owner Rico Vendetti — and was subsequently beaten and robbed in his apartment. While Marciniak, a 77-year-old bachelor, survived the incident, he had a heart condition that manifested into cardiac arrest later that night after talking with police.
Not only were all of his comics stolen, but things get even more sad — Marciniak apparently was trying to sell his books to give the money to his sister and nephew. The books haven’t even been recovered yet.
Apparently this week, however, a woman charged with prostitution led police to Vendetti and 17-year-old Juan Javier, who were each charged with burglary. Both were charged with $100,000 bail — Vendetti has since ponied up the cash, while Javier is currently in jail.
Police still are searching for the missing comics. “I was hoping to get a lucky break for Homer,” Medina Police Chief Jose Avila said. “He could not handle losing those comic books. To him, they were priceless.”