Krypton Radio Special ReportThief Caught, Comics Returned

Krypton Radio Newswire
Superman Comics Thief Collared (illustration by Gene Turnbow)

Superman Comics Thief Collared

The thief who stole Superman comics and memorabilia from Mike Myer on August 29th has been collared by Illinois police. KMOV in St Louis has reported that Gerry Arville Armbruster, suspected of being “Gary”, the guy who “befriended” Mike Myer, a mentally challenged man who loves Superman, and stealing a choice selection of the most valuable of Mr. Meyer’s  Superman comics and memorabila, has been arrested by Illinois police.

 Gerry Arville Armbruster

Gerry Arville Armbruster

The arrest came after another robbery of a 76 year old man who was attacked and had his jewelry and money stolen in Granite City, after the suspect conned his way into a cleaning job. The two crimes were linked due to the suspect’s description, and the Superman comics and memorabilia was not only recovered but has been returned to Mike Meyer, their owner.

Meyer, a 48-year-old mentally disabled man, was robbed of over 1800 items in his collection, worth over $5,000,  by an old co-worker he only knew as “Gary.” Granite City police were investigating the crime when Smith brought it to the attention of the paper and from there, the world. Sympathizers from all over immediately offered to donate items from their own collection as well as countless other items to Meyer in case the thief was never caught. The Superfriends of Metropolis organized quickly to help as well as many on a specially created Save Superman facebook page and a local comic book shop. Folks went so far as to list the items they were planning to donate on a Collectors Society message board in order to prevent duplicates being sent. One of the Superfriends members is actually going to hand-deliver a chunk of the donations to Meyer in person dressed as George Reeves era Superman.

As the news of Mike Meyer’s original loss was reported across the comics industry, a hoard of fellow collectors and professionals gathered replacement Superman items that included hundreds of comics, original artwork, and memorabilia.

After he was swindled of more than 1,800 of his favorite Superman comic books, and hundreds of figurines and other memorabilia, Meyer shared his story with the Granite City Post-Dispatch. He hoped the increased attention would make it harder for the thief to resell the items.

Meyer had no idea how much attention his story would receive. Word of the theft quickly spread among fellow collectors, who started up collection drives and gathered support through online message boards and e-mail lists.

Mike Meyer shows off some of the donations he received after shocked fans heard of his misfortune.

Mike Meyer shows off some of the donations he received after shocked fans heard of his misfortune. Now that his collection has been returned to him, it's about doubled in size with the donations taken into account. He plans to donate much of the donated materials to charities.

A Facebook page dedicated to Meyer now has more than 2,100 “likes.” Celebrities and publicists associated with Superman films past and future have expressed interest in reaching out to him. Cleveland, Ohio officials have offered to pay Meyer’s way to the city for a grand tour of the house where Joe Shuster created Superman. The Chamber of Commerce in Metropolis, Ill., the official “Hometown of Superman,” also reportedly has a plan in the works.

Jon Bogdanove, an artist who was under contract with DC Comics through most of the 90s and worked on its Man of Steel comic book, sent a personal drawing and some of his recent work.

Bogdanove said he was inspired by the bevy of support shown by the comic book collectors groups and wanted to do his part as well. He said the common motivation of everyone involved seems to reflect Superman’s message in the comic books and movies.

“I think as kids, that’s the kind of lesson we get from Superman,” he said. “Superman is really about doing whatever you can to help.”

With his original collection returned, Meyer intends to give the comics donated to him to a charity such as a children’s hospital, according to St Louis Today:

As for his Superman collection, Meyer now has close to double what he had lost. Smith has about 40 more items ready to be delivered, and dozens more have been promised. Meyer said he wants to take the donations and give them to charity, possibly delivering them to a children’s hospital.

“People were generous to me; this is how I can be generous in return,” he said.

Mike Meyer, the victim, has collected Superman items most of his life. The 48-year-old lives off social security for a mental disability and works part-time at a McDonald’s in Collinsville to support himself. He lives in Granite City with his two dogs, Krypto and Dyno.

The folks here at Krypton Radio love a happy ending, especially one where justice is served.  We thought you would too.

– 30 –