Alpha Comics owner Kevin Robicheau is looking both left and right when he exits his southeast Calgary store when he closes up at night.
He’s also carrying a weapon.
Robicheau was closing up his shop at 7005 – 18 Street SE around 8 p.m. March 11, when he was attacked from behind by two suspects. The thieves made off with three rare Fantastic Four comic books, valued at $50,000, he was carrying in a briefcase.
The missing comic books are described as:
Fantastic Four #1 with a CGC number of 2074628001 and grade of 6.5
Fantastic Four #2 with a CGC number of 2041541001 and grade of 5.5
Fantastic Four #13 with a CGC number of 204154003 and grade of 4.5
According to police, Robicheau was left with minor injuries. The suspects ran to a nearby vehicle, but then fled on foot when they saw the victim was still watching them.
Second suspect still at large, say Calgary police
One suspect was later apprehended and identified by police as 20-year-old Rifahie Al-Rifahie. Rifahie has been charged with one count of robbery.
Robicheau, who suffered minor injuries, is unsure whether the attack was targeted or not. Police did say it was a targeted robbery.
“Either it was targeted and someone knew the books were moving, or it was just someone that thought that I was leaving the building with a bunch of money at the end of the day,” said Robicheau.
Robicheau said he doesn’t know the man that has been charged for the robbery, and he does not believe any of his employees were involved.
“I have no leads on who the second person is,” he said.
“I’m hoping the detective will be able to use whatever pressure at his disposal to convince the first guy to indicate who else was involved in this,” said Robicheau.
The comics were being sold on consignment for a client
Due to the value and rarity of the comics, it’s likely the suspect will attempt to sell the books to another store, or a private buyer.
Robicheau has informed the comic book community of the theft, and believes that the suspicious nature of the merchandise would be easily recognized by a private buyer, possibly leading to another arrest.
“I have found that people that collect, whether it be comics or toys, like to show off their additions. With these books, they wouldn’t be able to do that,” he said.
Robicheau was selling the books on consignment for a customer, who’s value was graded by the independent company Certified Guaranty Company.
Robicheau said their age and condition made them valuable, with issue #1 being rated particularly high.
“That issue was rated 6.5 out of 10. For a book going on 60 years old, that is pretty good,” he said.
Insurance claim on hold, Robicheau said
At this time, Robicheau is holding off on filing an insurance claim while the theft is being investigated.
“It’s my understanding that if an insurance payment is made and the books are recovered, then the insurance company owns the books,” Robicheau said.
Robicheau said the robbery has led to taking extra precautions when leaving the store at night.
“It has motivated me, quite negatively, though, as I am now checking left and right when exiting and carrying a weapon when locking up the store,” he said.