Accused comic book crook busted by store owner

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Midtown comic book store owner apprehended a man who he says was trying to sell stolen merchandise from his business thanks to a tip he got, as police were taking a burglary report.

It probably helps that the owner is a former Memphis Police officer.

It all started early Friday morning when hooded thieves broke into 901 Comics. Just two doors down, another business, 901 Toys was also broken into.

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“They broke the door window out. They came and checked the registers but didn’t get anything because we don’t keep money in the registers,” said Shannon Merritt, the owner of 901 Comics, 901 Toys and 901 Games. “I had to come in and I wasn’t even supposed to be there that day.”

He was thankful no merchandise was stolen from his stores, but the story was far from over as he realized he had another problem on his hands.

“Later that afternoon I got a phone call from the other comic book store, Comics and Collectibles, and the employee said, ‘Hey I think someone is trying to sell some of your stolen stuff,'” Merritt said.

The employee even sent over a picture of the man they say was attempting to sell the stolen merchandise, someone Merritt recognized from being in his store before.

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“I was like, ‘Well they didn’t take anything last night, it can’t be ours,'” Merritt said.

But then Merritt realized their small shipping office in another part of town was broken into as well. He thinks thieves broke in sometime last week, probably just days before the Midtown vandalism.

“Found about $3,000 worth of merchandise stolen,” Merritt said.

As police were at the shipping office taking a report for the burglary, Merritt spotted the man in the picture from the other comic book store who tried to sell them stolen merchandise.

“And I saw him and recognized him and I ran and snatched him up, grabbed him, pulled him back to the police and to the police officer, ‘I was like hey, this is the guy. That has our stolen stuff,'” Merritt said. “I actually used to be a Memphis Police officer for 13 years so I was pretty comfortable in the situation and not only that, the cops were right there.”

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The man accused of stealing the merchandise was later identified as Kevin Davis. He is now in police custody.

But despite the break-in, Merritt has made it clear with the sign outside his business saying, “I assure you we are open.”

Merrit says he and his fellow owners believe in the city.

“It is concerning but we have a great, great community. We pride ourselves on being a community store, we love, love Memphis,” Merritt said. “We want to make Memphis a better place and we can do that by doing what we love and bringing it to Memphis.”

To donate to the 901 Comics and 901 Toys GoFundMe, click here.

If you have any information about these cases that could help police, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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