Star Wars action figure thief faces prison

A Georgia man pleaded guilty Monday morning to stealing more than $100,000 of Star Wars collectible items from a private museum near Petaluma in 2015 and 2016.

Carl Edward Cunningham, 45 of Marietta, Georgia, pleaded guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court to one count of felony grand theft. He faces four years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 7, Deputy District Attorney Emily Malfatti said.

More than 100 valuable Star Wars items were stolen from the Rancho Obi-Wan museum located in a private residence in unincorporated Sonoma County west of Petaluma. Malfatti said the exact value of the items has not been determined.

On the museum’s website, founder Steve Sansweet said most of the items were vintage U.S. and foreign carded action figures.

The theft was discovered after major Star Wars collector Phillip Wise posted news of the theft of his rare prototype rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure from his Texas warehouse.

Southern California toy dealer and collector Zach Tann told Wise he had purchased the Boba Fett figure and others from Cunningham.

Sansweet said he has known Cunningham for many years and invited him to his home.