Dozens of Stars Wars collectables were pinched from an elderly couple’s vacation home, which a neighbor allegedly ransacked and burglarized, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
The victims, who have owned the house in Rio Nido – a resort community near the Russian River – for 70 years, discovered the damage around 3 p.m. Tuesday, deputies said.
It is unclear when the burglary occurred but deputies said in a statement that windows were shattered, doors had been spoiled and "virtually every room inside the house was in complete disarray."
Opened food packages and empty alcohol bottles were also scattered around the house and items of value, both monetary and sentimental, had been stolen, deputies said. What was most heartbreaking to the couple was the loss of unopened boxes of valuable Star Wars memorabilia, they added.
But the force seemed to be with them.
While canvassing the neighborhood, detectives discovered an empty Star Wars box in front of a house belonging to the couple’s neighbor, Dennis Hickox, according to deputies.
Upon contacting the 42-year-old Hickox and searching his house, detectives located most of the victims’ property, including furniture, paintings, clothing, throw rugs, tools, records and their Star Wars collection.
The items were returned to the couple, deputies said, adding that Hickox was charged with residential burglary and possession of stolen property and booked into Sonoma County Jail. His bail is set at $40,000 and he is slated to appear in court on Oct. 8.
People with information about Hickox or the case are requested to call the Investigations Tip Line at 707-565-2185