Beanie Baby Burglars Hit A Woodland Hills Store

Saturday, July 15th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Last night marked a beanie baby burglary of huge proportions.

Someone stole up to 50-thousand dollars worth of the collectible cuties from a store in Woodland Hills Mall Friday night.

These were no flash in the pan crooks. They knew exactly what to look for.

Police officers looked at the damage someone did to the lock and gate on the front of the Beanie Baby and More store.

Whoever broke in, did so between 10 p.m. Friday night and 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

"They had taken all the old ones with tags, the very rarest of the rare, the most valuable beanies," says Kent Cornwell, store owner.

The thieves were so selective out front, that you can still see pockets of empty places where they took all of one kind of beanie, and left others on either side.

In the back of the store, it was a different story.

"They had just wiped out the shelves in the back. Hundreds and hundreds of beanies," says Cornwell.

The thieves were resourceful enough to use something they found inside the store to carry out all their loot.

"Looks like they loaded them in trash cans and took them out," says Cpl. Steve Han, Tulsa Police.

The rare ones taken will be hard to sell or pawn in this area. Cornwell believes the burglars might have better luck unloading them on the east or west coast.

"Devastated, we feel invaded. It's a huge loss and we've been so proud of our store. A lot of it will never be replaced," says Cornwell.

Cornwell did have insurance, but, say the company will likely want to pay them what they paid for the beanie babies years ago, and many of them are worth 10 even 20 times that now.

The case will be turned over to the burglary squad.

A detective did take fingerprints today.

Police must determine how the thieves were able to get past mall security and make off with between 30 and 50-thousand dollars worth of merchandise.