A man was arrested on Monday night for allegedly breaking into JJ Abrams' film company Bad Robot in Santa Monica, California, and stealing Star Wars props, including Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets.
According to TMZ, Frank Hebert, 38, was captured on surveillance video illegally breaking into Bad Robot through the rooftop and leaving with a shopping cart full of props.
Hebert was soon apprehended by police, who found the helmets – which were used in the actual movies – buried beneath a pile of Star Wars pillows. He was arrested and booked for felony non-residential burglary.
TMZ reports that the helmets have been returned to their owners.
Unfortunately, this is hardly the first time expensive Star Wars memorabilia has been stolen. In 2017, collector Steve Sansweet reported that his 1979 Boba Fett action figure was stolen, though it was since returned. As Movie Web points out, had the Boba Fett figure been sold online, it could've fetched nearly $100k.
The break-in news also comes shortly after yesterday’s report that weightlifter-turned-actor Dave Prowse, who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy, had died at the age of 85.
Thanks to Vader’s mask, "I can walk around with complete anonymity," he told The Associated Press in 1980. "All actors crave recognition and I’d like to have some like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Fortune tends to follow fame.”
Though Prowse, who measured well over six feet, wore Darth Vader's black armor and helmet for Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983), James Earl Jones famously provided the movie villain’s deep voice.