Police in Granite City, Illinois, have arrested a man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of Superman memorabilia from a mentally disabled collector in St. Louis. Better still, they were able to recover the collection and return it to the owner, a very grateful Mike Meyer.
The Post-Dispatch reports that 37-year-old Gerry A. Armbruster of Granite City was connected to the late-August theft during the investigation on Thursday of the forcible robbery of money and jewelry from a 76-year-old man. Armbruster has been charged with one count of residential burglary for the Superman theft, and one count each of robbery and aggravated burglary for the incident with the elderly man. He’s being held in jail on $100,000 bond.
Armbruster allegedly befriended Meyer, a 48-year-old man who lives on Social Security and works part-time at McDonald’s, before swindling him out of more than 1,800 Superman comics, figures and other memorabilia he’d been collecting since 1974.
The theft quickly drew worldwide attention, with fellow fans from as far away as Australia and the United Kingdom rallying to replace Meyer’s collection. According to the Post-Dispatch, officials in Cleveland offered to pay for Meyer to tour the house where a young Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the Man of Steel, while the Metropolis, Illinois, Chamber of Commerce has its own plan in the works.
Meyer, who now has close to double what had been stolen — with more promised or already en route — plans to give those donations to charity, likely a children’s hospital.
“People were generous to me,” Meyer, who lives with his dogs Krypto and Dyno, told the newspaper. “This is how I can be generous in return.”