Over 100 Items Have Been Stolen from Rancho Obi-Wan – Let’s Help Stephen Locate his Missing Valuables

Steve Sansweet


Stephen Sansweet, the owner of the world’s largest Star Wars collection has reported that back in February, Rancho Obi-Wan – the name of his Californian storehouse – was the victim of a theft of over 100 items – appraised altogether for more than $200,000. He was shocked to find out who was behind the crime and continues to search for the many items that have been re-sold by the alleged thief. Please, read on and spread the word.



From Rancho Obi-Wan:


A note from Steve Sansweet


Dear fellow Star Wars fans and collectors,

I need to share some distressing news with you because I need your help.


In February we at Rancho Obi-Wan found out that we had been the victim of a major theft that surreptitiously took place over many months in late 2015 through 2016.


There were more than 100 valuable items stolen, the majority of them vintage U.S. and foreign carded action figures, many of them rare and important pieces. Most have either been resold or professionally appraised for a total of more than $200,000.


The theft came to light after Philip Wise, a good friend, major collector and owner of several Star Wars websites, posted news of the theft of his rare prototype rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure from his Texas warehouse. Zach Tann, a respected toy dealer and collector in Southern California, immediately notified Philip that he had purchased that figure from Carl Edward Cunningham, 45, a well-known Star Wars collector and R2-D2 builder from Marietta, Georgia.


Tann further told Philip that he previously had bought many other rare Star Wars collectibles from Carl and sent a detailed list. Philip said that he quickly concluded by the quantity and quality of items that they had likely been stolen from my collection here in Petaluma, California.


Tann is working closely with us and authorities to help recover and return as many of the stolen collectibles as possible. Without Zach Tann’s call to Philip, which came despite great potential personal financial exposure to himself, we might still not know of the theft or its extent.


Carl surrendered on an arrest warrant from the Sonoma County, California Sheriff’s Department at the end of March and was charged with felony grand theft. He is currently free on bail with additional hearings in the case scheduled.


I have known Carl for many years, considered him a good and trusted friend, and played host to him at my home numerous times. I, and the staff at Rancho Obi-Wan, are devastated that he is the alleged perpetrator of the thefts. Not only have important items been stolen from the collection, but also our time, energy and ability to trust unconditionally have taken a blow.


If you have any information about Carl Cunningham’s activities or items that he has sold please write to tips@ranchoobiwan.org. If you think you may have purchased a stolen item, please be patient while we work through this process. It is our goal to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and to continue to use the collection at Rancho Obi-Wan to “Inspire through the Force” despite the destruction caused by one person.


Thank you for your help,
Steve Sansweet
Rancho Obi-Wan



Please spread the word and let’s try to help.



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Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

Jordan Pate (Hard Case)

Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

23 thoughts on “Over 100 Items Have Been Stolen from Rancho Obi-Wan – Let’s Help Stephen Locate his Missing Valuables

  • June 5, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Madness. I wish Steve all the best in recovering his property.

  • June 5, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    his ‘Friend” is a punk. Thrawn should be the Judge !

  • June 5, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    A jerk move indeed. It’s sucks for those who lose money or items. I hope Carl spends some quality time with a prison cell.

    • June 6, 2017 at 3:16 am

      I hope so. It largely depends, I think, on if he’s accrued any prior offenses. I know about some of the stuff he’s stolen…and the dollar amount of even a couple of the items is pretty staggering. He stole Phillip Wise’s rocket-firing Boba Fett and those are pulling about 25k these days.

  • June 5, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    If the guy has been caught he should have to turn over all record of sales for the stolen items.

    • June 6, 2017 at 3:21 am

      I’m pretty sure a complete record can be assembled without too much trouble. The vintage Star Wars collectible world is a relatively small one and with the prolific stuff he stole, it won’t be impossible to track everything down. That’s what I don’t understand. I mean, I get theft – it’s awful, but I understand the basic concept. But Carl was involved enough in the hobby to understand that if you steal something like a rocket-firing Boba Fett, you’re options for getting any real money out of it are going to be somewhat limited. And when a high-profile piece like the Rocket Fett trades hands, the community generally hears about it. $25,000 Star Wars toys aren’t sold at the corner toy shows, after all. I just can’t get my head around how he thought he was going to get away with this.

  • June 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    What kind of scumbag would do something like this?

    • June 6, 2017 at 3:14 am

      That’s just the thing. Scumbags don’t care about others. This theft is just awful for the hobby. Carl was a trusted member of the vintage collecting community and was considered a friend by many high profile collectors. It’ll be some time before we become aware of how much distrust something like this causes.

  • June 5, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    You’ll never catch meeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

  • June 5, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I know his pain. As a kid, I encountered a very similar situation. The worst part is that he was a dumb thief with terrible alibis, and I believed him every single time. I don’t know where he is now, but I don’t care. If he’s going to steal from the people that care enough to call him a friend, he doesn’t deserve my acknowledgement aside from this story.

  • June 6, 2017 at 2:20 am

    I hope they catch the bastards I really like watching Steve on YouTube this is not cool

    • June 6, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      They know who stole the items, and he’s been arrested (now out on bail.) The people who bought the items from the thief had no reason to believe that they were stolen, the thief was a known member of the SW community.

      What they’re are doing now is trying to track down the people who were sold the items and try to recover them. Some have already freely returned them, not even asking for their money to be refunded.

  • June 6, 2017 at 4:10 am

    That sucks- hope he’s implemented some security measures to prevent it from happening again.

    • June 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      I’ve been to Rancho Obi-Wan thanks to a contest organized by Lucasfilm. Many of the items are displayed out in plain sight and extremely easy to steal. I guess he trusted us as members of the Star Wars community… Who knew that the thief would be a close friend of his.

  • June 6, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Heartbreaking……a person you trust would steal from you. Shame really. Someday I would like to do a tour of that place…….seems to be the “Mecca” for SW collectors.

  • June 6, 2017 at 7:47 am

    You know what they do to Star Wars figure thieves in prison don’t you?

    • June 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      They never let them out of their cell in case they lose their value

    • June 7, 2017 at 1:31 am

      They throw them in the trash compactor and make sure they never escape.

  • June 6, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    This is why you should never give anyone free access to such a collection, unless you plan to be with them every step of the way.

  • June 6, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    This is what happens when one idolizes Palpatine too much… Once you go down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

  • June 7, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Really!!!……REALLY?….. I thought we all learned theft was bad in kindergarten
    keep it up morons and nobody will be able to enjoy

  • June 7, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I read this and all I got was “He took my toys.”

    There’s a reason they’ve included tentacle monsters in all of the new Star Wars movies. Carl better get ready. *raspy forrest whittaker voice* BOR GULLET

  • June 9, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Poor Steve, ‘you’re far too trusting’.
    Shame really, he’ll probably krank up security, the fact that most of it was viewable without being behind glass was part of what made this so unique.
    I hope that doesn’t have to change too much.

Comments are closed.