A person with a penchant for DC and Marvel Comics graphic novels has piqued the interest of a Salmon Arm bookstore following repeated thefts.
Peter Marsan, manager of Bookingham Palace at the Mall at Piccadilly, says there have been at least three incidents where books have been stolen from the store – about 40 in total, all DC and Marvel graphic novels, totalling about $1,000.
One of those incidents occurred Thursday, March 3. A camera placed behind the shelf loaded with graphic novels captured the moment. The one-minute file shows a balding man wearing a mask entering the store and immediately turning left towards the shelf with the graphic novels. He pauses there for several seconds, crouches and visually scans the store before pulling a bag from his blue jacket. He then selects a handful of books, taking a second to reposition one he didn’t grab, before walking towards the back of the store and moving to another aisle before heading out.
Marsan suspects the same person is responsible for the previous thefts.
“It seems unlikely it would be different people,” said Marsan. “We lose very few books in the store in general and we noticed we were losing a lot from just those two little shelves in that one little section.”
Marsan said he hasn’t heard from anyone else in the mall who may have seen the man, but he did have a chance to look at mall security footage.
“He comes to the mall, he comes straight to our store, he does his stealing and he leaves,” said Marsan. “He’s in the mall for less than five minutes total. He doesn’t go anywhere else. So unless someone kind of lingers, you’re not going to remember a face.”
In addition to reporting the incident to the RCMP, Marsan shared the March 3 security cam footage on the Bookingham Palace Facebook page. The post has since received thousands of views, has received numerous shares and comments, and has been picked up by media outside of Salmon Arm.
“It’s a little bit surprising,” said Marsan of the media attention, “but I think the video is pretty good quality so that is probably part of it. Lots of time you’ll see a video and it will be a grainy thing… If it wasn’t for the mask I’m pretty sure we could identify this person right away.”
Marasan is hopeful the books will be returned. For now, anyone interested in buying a graphic novel won’t find them on the shelves at Bookingham Palace.
“We actually pulled all of the books from those shelves on the weekend…,” said Marsan. “Unless I’m constantly staring at that section it’s going to happen again.”
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