(KOIN/CNN) — You can see the hype ahead of the latest “Star Wars” movie on store shelves everywhere — clothing and toys of all kinds.
But a thief decided to pilfer the prized — and valuable — stockpile of a Star Wars collector in Washington state.
Richard Bates came home to a rude awakening last night. Tens of thousands of dollars of collectibles, missing from his shelves, and he wants your help finding them.
“There’s a lot of Siths out there,” he said
The Vancouver man said someone turned to the Dark Side when they stole his Star Wars memoribilia from his home.
“I try to use Star Wars in real life, that we all walk that line, between good and bad.”
Bates estimates $30,000 of the $45,000 cache of toys was taken.
The timing of the theft is uncanny, right before the new movie is scheduled come out. “There’s people lining up to buy stuff, I’m sure it was the perfect time to steal my stuff and sell it.”
Bates said the thief not only stole an investment — “the better part of my savings was wrapped up in these things” — but also his memories.
“This sounds corny, but when like I get home, I like to go see my toys. It makes me happy. It brings me back to my childhood.”
He so loves the movies, he’s even gotten tattoos to keep the Force close. “I just try to use it as a moral compass to do what’s right. It just reminds me ‘do or do not, there is no try.'”
If Jedi mind tricks could bring the collectibles back, Bates would use them, but he’s counting on something else — detective work and the public.
“If anyone can help just bring it back, it’s not really about the money for me, like I’ve had to get some of those pieces five or six times and, yeah, I just want my stuff back.”