Man who tried selling stolen 'Batman' comics worth $97,000 arrested in Arizona

Police say Philip Weisbauer had 5 comics stolen from Boca Raton storage unit

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

BOCA RATON, Fla. - A South Florida man has been arrested in Arizona after he tried to sell some pricey "Batman" comic books stolen from a storage unit in Boca Raton.

Philip Weisbauer, 30, of Royal Palm Beach, faces charges of theft and trafficking in stolen property after he tried to sell four comic books worth $97,000, Arizona authorities allege.

The owner of the comics, Randy Lawrence, said he noticed the early editions of "Batman" and "Detective Comics" from the 1930s and 1940s were missing when he inspected his air-conditioned indoor storage unit Jan. 8.

"When I walked in the room -- I think it was Jan. 8 -- I just noticed that there was something not right in the room," he said. "I proceeded to open up boxes to find them empty when they were once filled to the brim." 

According to a Maricopa County, Arizona, probable cause affidavit, Weisbauer tried to sell them at a comic book store in Phoenix. He returned two days later to negotiate the price with the store manager, but was followed by Phoenix police and arrested.

Four of the comics were recovered, but the remainder of Lawrence's collection, worth more than $1 million, is still missing.

Lawrence said he had hoped to sell his collection one day for retirement. 

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