This news broke over the weekend but I wasn’t near a computer to update until now. I have to say though, this did make my weekend shine a bit brighter. The man accused of stealing around $5,000 worth of Superman comics and other collectibles from Illinois man Mike Meyer has been arrested.
Newsarama was one of the first to spread the news about the theft in the hopes that those in the comic reading/collecting world might be able to keep an eye out for the stolen items. Now, the same St. Louis newspaper who reported the story thanks to Meyer’s friend Bill Smith, has written 37-year-old Gerry A. Armbruster was arrested and charged on Thursday. He was caught attempting to rob an elderly man of jewelry and money. The paper writes, “Police said their investigation of that more recent incident allowed them to link Armbruster to the Superman theft.”
Meyer, a 48-year-old mentally disabled man, was robbed of over 1800 items in his collection by an old co-worker he only knew as “Gary.” Granite City police were investigating the crime when Smith brought it to the attention of the paper and from there, the world. Sympathizers from all over immediately offered to donate items from their own collection as well as countless other items to Meyer in case the thief was never caught. The Superfriends of Metropolis organized quickly to help as well as many on a specially created Save Superman facebook page and a local comic book shop. Folks went so far as to list the items they were planning to donate on a Collectors Society message board in order to prevent duplicates being sent. One of the Superfriends members is actually going to hand-deliver a chunk of the donations to Meyer in person dressed as George Reeves era Superman.
“Celebrities and publicists associated with Superman films past and future have expressed interest in reaching out to him,” writes the paper, “Cleveland, Ohio officials have offered to pay Meyer’s way to the city for a grand tour of the house where Joe Shuster created Superman. The Chamber of Commerce in Metropolis, Ill., the official ‘Hometown of Superman,’ also reportedly has a plan in the works.”
Since Armbruster was apprehended, the police returned Meyer’s stolen collectibles. The paper writes, “As for his Superman collection, Meyer now has close to double what he had lost. Smith has about 40 more items ready to be delivered, and dozens more have been promised. Meyer said he wants to take the donations and give them to charity, possibly delivering them to a children’s hospital.”
Meyer spoke briefly with the newspaper and told them, “I felt very happy and felt justice was served…People were generous to me; this is how I can be generous in return.”
Thank you to everyone who helped, whether it was donating to Meyer or spreading the word. It’s nice to see a happy ending for a change.