Thursday, January 29, 2015

Getting Robbed: Theives Steal More Than Just Your Models!





That's right: Theft! TJ here to briefly discuss an issue I had over the weekend. Obviously, given the headline, there was a theft and while I will keep things general as there will be legal ramifications behind it, I feel compelled to talk about it because I have seen it in the community before and I think people need to be aware that not everyone is fair or honest in the world of our hobby.




Myself and a local friend (often Wolftime on forums) have had a huge hiatus from playing 40k since I was deployed and he moved/ lost interest. After a phone conversation, I decided I wanted to run some "fun orks" against his maligned Space Wolves.




We didn't want to travel, so we went to a store nearby, despite it having a pretty crappy reputation. Basically, it is pretty run-down, but we wanted to get away from kids and wives and what could it hurt?




When we got there, a relation of the store owner met us at the door to ask us what we had come in for (as about 6 people stood around in the back NOT playing games or doing anything really). We told him we had come to play 40k. He told us to rent a table and terrain, it would cost $3 an hour. We both laughed because neither of us had ever paid for table space before. We wanted to play so we offered up a card. NOPE! "Cash only," the relation said.




We went out to the car and found about $12 and told him that aught to cover it. He said we were good for two hours. Since we obviously looked surprised, he told us it was $3 each!




At this point, I admit to being pretty rude as my first reaction was to say "That's pretty high end rent for a pretty low end location, brother."




He told us we didn't have to play there and we agreed ... so we went to a bar within walking distance. We hung out and watched sports, drank a beer or two, ate pretzels (wish we could have had a game with that). I left the majority of the army I had in Wolftime's truck, along with his stuff, parked right in front of the store.




Some time later we came out to discover that the truck had been compromised and WT's two Battlefoam cases, containing nearly everything he owns in the 40k universe (two armies and about 5 publications) were gone. Not only that, but so were the orks and any CSM stuff I had in the case I had as well.




The store was empty, but given that nothing else valuable had been taken, it was clear somebody was involved. We called the police, who were super professional and took our statements.




The next day, I got to the store as the actual owner was opening. I explained what had happened, which he was totally unaware of. He helped me sweep the store and we found evidence that the armies had been through there.




He was upset on multiple levels and called the police. This time we both gave statements and the owner broke down. The store is going under and he was trying to string it along with "pay to play," but even that wasn't working. Now this would likely see the end of his business. Instead of hoping my army would be found and since I at least had not had my vehicle broken into, the owner expressed that he wanted to let me have product to not only replace the value of my models, but to also make up for any painted models I had lost. We worked out a deal and I took a huge value in paint and models home with me. WT made a similar deal, but basically cleaned out the store. Later that night, the culprits had come forward and a small portion of the models were returned to WT with no explanation as to where the rest of the models or the books may have gone.




While it is satisfying to know that the thieves were caught, it doesn't help WT recover his missing armies, which took him the better part of three years to build and paint and represented pretty much his entire collection, minus a flyer or two he left at home. Unfortunately, he also came at a time when the store no longer had distribution OR wolves on the shelf. Combine this with the fact that he also lost a bunch of expensive rules, which nobody is excited to re-buy (or to buy the first time).




To add to the feel-bads, we were both going there to reinvigorate a feeling we had lost for the game and everything that happened obviously works against that purpose.




I admit that I am disappointed, but I have a huge collection to draw from, but I think WT may be done with the game, if not forever, then at least for the rest of 7th edition. As for me, I was already in a bad place with the game and have been spending time with other hobbies. Losing orks and some of my favorite, old school painted Chaos models has also turned me off of working on stuff and more into my recent hobbies.




Time will tell what this means in the long run, but I want to urge players out there to keep their armies under watch and think about how you would feel if they disappeared. We all get a little loose with our stuff from time to time, but we really shouldn't. Models are expensive and losing them may mean the end of fun for a long time with this hobby, so please take care of your stuff.




Have any of you ever had your stuff stolen? Did you get it back? How did you feel and what did you do about it. Share what you can or what you want.

23 comments:

  1. Wow. What a terrible experience all around. I wouldn't have paid to play there either, though I feel bad for the owner and his situation, paying to play is not the answer; as he's obviously aware. To couple that, when you're out to enjoy the day and get back into the game, with stolen armies is just horrendous.

    Damn. So they broke into the truck? Like, it was locked and they managed to get in? Regardless, what a bunch of worthless douchebags.

    I can't blame how you feel either with the game. I love 40K, l play it weekly, but if I lost my armies like that then I'd be heartbroken and certainly not be motivated to jump right back in either, if ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a little rough. My loss was nothing compaired to my friend's.

      Delete
  2. Unbelievable. I feel bad for the business owner, to have to resort to charging for people to play and being on the brink of losing your business must suck. To have a deathblow like this...damn. It was really good of him to let you guys clean out the store of product.

    I'd probably have lost my mind if this had happened to me. Good on you guys for keeping your cool. I spend a lot of time and money modeling, converting and painting my own stuff and try to have a unique theme to each army. Something like this would be devastating.

    I hope they find the rest of your stuff, and the perps who stole it fully come to terms with how much they've stolen. I can't imagine it wasn't at least a grand worth of stuff. Imagine going to jail over toy soldiers....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WT lost over a grand alone. It is insane.

      Delete
  3. Man what a bunch of s"£ts. There are bad people in every walk of life unfortunately, but I am really sorry you had to go through this experience. I hope the people have a twinge of conscience and return all your stuff to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly the folks who came forward "never saw" most of it according to them.

      Delete
  4. dude that is beyond poor, it should never have happened and I hope you and WT can power through it. im happy to dig out any random bits I can and donate to WT just to try and keep your gaming buddy involved for you to have some company. its good in a way that despite being a bit of a douche to start with the manager manned up and that in itself is admirable but if he knew of unsavoury chracters he could have warned you.
    I hope it all comes back and the culprits get their just desserts but for the love of all that is plastic and resin don't let these scrotes push you away from the hobby

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily the state has a taskforce for vehicle break ins, so these guys are going to jail likely.

      Delete
  5. That is a horrible experience. I would be devastated if my models were taken...they are much more then pieces of plastic, but hours and weeks of time and effort put into them. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the crux of it. The time never comes back

      Delete
  6. I left a couple of boxes of figures behind at a GW, not much really and I was lucky enough that the manager spotted them and I got them all back. However, there were a few weeks were I was under the impression that one box containing just 11 Genestealers hadn't been recovered. I felt so depressed and my hobby mojo plummeted.

    I can only imagine how you and your mate must feel about something so much more devastating and malicious. Its a sad state of affairs, so much moreso that the guys were caught and managed to return some, but not all of the models. How can that be? They've been caught, they 'came forward', so where is the remorese in not returning the models? If they'd returned everything the store owner wouldn't have had to offer to reimburse your loss, maybe just sometyhing for the distress. Now they'll have a record and nowhere to game and the store is out of business and you guys have had a miserable experience. People these days have no concept of cause and effect, or sense of what's right or wrong!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it seems like the more expensive the model, the less likely it was to make it back, so we got back really basic, bare plastic or broken stuff back.

      Delete
  7. That's rotten. I want to give you guys some minis. Check your Hangouts for details.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never used hangouts, but I can try.

      Delete
    2. It was the only easy way I could try to get a hold of you. If you go to your Google+ page, there's an icon of a double quote, should be right underneath your profile pick, which is at the very top of the page. If you click on that, you should get the messages.

      Or if you have some other way of getting in touch, I'm game for that, too.

      Delete
    3. And I just sent a Facebook message to what I think is your account. It will likely be in your "Other Messages" folder.

      Delete
  8. Terribad Experience...I would be tempted to Hulk out..I think you handled it well and glad there was some form of justice...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Holy hell, man. I...the time involved and the love of creating it all. Sure losing the money invested sucks, but the TIME.

    I've only ever had trust for folks both at Conventions like at Adepticon and local shops. I think if that trust was ever broken, a large part of my spirit for the game would be as well.

    I've got buckets of bits, not much in the realm of whole boxes anymore, but buckets of bits. I'm sure things can be bashed out of them. If they can be of a help in recovery, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I dont have any messages on either. I dont actually know much about google plus though, but I am @theTJAtwell on twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I dont have any messages on either. I dont actually know much about google plus though, but I am @theTJAtwell on twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I followed you on Twitter, but couldn't send you a Direct Message because you're not following me.

    The Facebook message won't be in your normal Inbox. There's another folder where messages from the "unfriended" like me will go. https://www.facebook.com/messages/other/ should take you right there if you're logged in.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dude, that sucks royally. Someone should educate these guys on both game store etiquette and perhaps the finer points of being law-abiding citizens.

    ReplyDelete
  14. At a big convention a couple years ago, early the last day I had cleared my hotel room of everything but my big blue Tupperware container I was using to carry my nids in as I wasn't playing till later. Checkout was at 11, and I came back at 1030. To find the cleaning ladies had put my container in the hall. It was open, with figs on the floor and the big MCs stacked on top, books were under the big models. At least one person had opened it up and dug through it - to this day I don't know if I'm missing anything; I don't think I am, but I pretty much lost my mind screaming at the staff and several managers for the next hour. In retrospect, I've heavily considered insuring it against loss for the amount of a professionally painted army with the same/similar models before stepping into that situation again. Glad I play nids - a more popular army would've probably disappeared. Whoever was looking wasn't looking for my name - that was right on top with my army lists.

    ReplyDelete