Thieves target Spokane comic book collector

Some people like sports. Some people like cars. Donald Duke’s passion is tucked away in dozens of boxes.

“I think the first comic book I actually bought myself was in 1982, ’83,” Duke said.

He’s been collecting ever since.

“I have about 10,000 or 15,000 comic books. It’s always been strictly DC. I’ve always been Superman,Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, all that. Those were the characters I grew up with, those are the ones I first saw.

Unfortunately, Duke has not been feeling very super himself. He was diagnosed years ago with a genetic blood clot disorder.

“This last December, I had two blood clots that started from my knees and went almost all the way up to my kidney area.”

It’s difficult for him to stand and when he does, his legs shake. Duke said it has been hard for him to find a job and pay rent, which is why he decided to split the cost with a roommate — but things didn’t work out.

“Stuff went sour, he stole money from my bedroom. He wasn’t paying rent, he wasn’t giving me money for anything and I just couldn’t handle him here anymore.”

Things were so bad, Duke filed for a no contact order but that roommate kept stopping by the house and knew Duke wanted to sell some of his collection to pay bills.

“He brought a guy over to the house here a couple of nights ago who said ‘Hey, I know somebody on the west side that can sell these comic books for you.'”

Wednesday morning, Duke found his outdoor storage shed door open and several boxes missing.

“Total, there was probably, maybe 1,000 [comic books] that were stolen.”

In those boxes, some of the original Wonder Woman and Aquaman series along with vintage Batman, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Dr. Who action figures. Duke estimates the overall loss to be in the thousands.

“8,000-10,000 dollars if you sell them single.”

He’s called Crime Check and comic book stores in Spokane and Seattle. His message for the villains?

“You’re going down. I’m done. It’s over. I’m going to make sure you go to jail.”

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