$1.4 million worth of Marvel Comics collectibles recovered in Rancho Cucamonga theft investigation

Two San Bernardino men have been arrested and charged with felonies for the alleged theft of a trove of Marvel Comics collectibles valued at $1.4 million.

Some of the items recovered include movie props such as “Captain America” shields, the arm and hand of Nebula from “Guardians of the Galaxy,” an Einherjar shield from “Thor,” an “Iron Man” mask, and a set of X-23 claws from “Logan.” Signed artwork by retired Marvel publisher Stan Lee and a special edition “Spider-Man” electric guitar were also recovered.

These items were recovered during a theft investigation in Rancho Cucamonga. (Courtesy)
These items were recovered during a theft investigation in Rancho Cucamonga. (Courtesy)

The investigation by the San Bernardino County sheriff’s Rancho Cucamonga station began Feb. 22 when the unidentified collector received word that several of his Marvel items were appearing for sale on the internet, leading him to discover his storage facility had been burglarized.

One of the alleged suspects was identified from information he had provided interested buyers, a release from the Sheriff’s Department said.

Detectives developed leads and Ian Florez, 35, of San Bernardino was arrested Feb. 24 on a warrant. Court records show a not guilty plea on charges of grand theft and burglary. He’s currently free on bond.

A second suspect, Matthew Rinke, 37, of San Bernardino was subsequently arrested after futher investigation. Rinke has pleaded not guilty to receiving stolen property, and in a separate case filed in January he faces charges of impersonation and second-degree burglary.

He has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well, and remains in custody.

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