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.