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“No amount of money can replace this”

Oshawa man had some of his Star Wars collection stolen and says police not doing enough to get it back

A long-time collector of all things Star Wars, Ken Chopee says a number of his items, including some that he calls irreplacable, were stolen when he moved into his new home in late 2016. The Oshawa resident says police are not doing enough to get his treasured possessions back.

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

Calling Ken Chopee a Star Wars fan would be putting it lightly.

The inside of the Oshawa man’s home is packed with just about every piece of Star Wars memorabilia you can imagine – everything from still-in-the-pack toys to unique souvenirs from the filming of the movies themselves.

However, some of those treasured items have been stolen, and Chopee feels the police are not doing enough to find his lost keepsakes.

Chopee says the robbery took place Dec. 6, 2016, when he was moving into his new home, and that several boxes of Star Wars and other memorabilia – some of which he says are irreplaceable – was taken.

When moving from his old home to his new one, Chopee kept all of his possessions – memorabilia and otherwise – in storage pods. It was from those pods, he says, that the goods were stolen.

Among the items stolen was a limited edition foot-tall statue of Darth Maul – the primary antagonist from the 1999 Episode I: Phantom Menace – signed by Ray Park, the actor portraying the red and black faced character. That statue later popped up for sale in an Oshawa pawnshop in late January – something Chopee says he told investigators.

However, two weeks after he says he first reported his findings, the statue was still for sale at the shop.

“Whoever did this, I want them charged,” he says.

“Now that they’re popping up at pawn shops, there’s a name right there. It should be easy for them.”

Chopee says his search for his memorabilia has taken him across Durham Region, and that he has relayed what he has found – such as comic book vendors being approached with boxes of goods that match his stolen memorabilia – but so far, investigators have not followed up on them as far as he knows.

“That’s over 30, 40 years of me going to conventions to get things signed. How can I replace that?” he says.

“No amount of money can replace this. It just really hurts that (the person who robbed me) would do this.”

Chopee says that the memorabilia was insured, but because they were deemed as collectables and hadn’t been appraised, he was offered well below what he considers their value.

In an emailed statement to The Oshawa Express, Dave Selby, a spokesperson for Durham police, says that investigators remain on the case.

“A detailed police report was completed on this incident and we are actively investigating through our Central East Division Criminal Investigations Bureau,” he says.

“We appreciate that he is frustrated and wants the matter resolved as quickly as possible, but I can assure you we are working on it, and that includes confirming what inventory is missing.”