KEY POINTS

  • Collectibles worth around $665,000 were recovered by West Midlands police in the U.K.
  • The haul included memorabilia from franchises like Marvel, "Star Wars" and "Transformers"
  • The items have been returned to their rightful owners

A huge stack of stolen toys and collectibles, including Marvel, “Star Wars,” and “Transformers” memorabilia, worth £500,000 ($665,900) has been recovered in the U.K. after an extensive search operation.

Police in West Midlands, England, found “tens of thousands” of boxes filled with old comics and figurines, BBC first reported. Apart from old comics, authorities also recovered a plethora of souvenirs, board games and imported collectibles from the hit TV series “Game of Thrones.”

Police stated that the burglary took place at an industrial unit in Wolverhampton, where all the memorabilia was stored by an e-commerce website in September. More items were stolen from a warehouse in Runcorn in October.

Speaking about the matter, Detective Constable Emily-Jane Parker, from West Midlands Police's criminal investigation department, believes that this is part of “an organized operation” that might have taken place all over the country.

“We retrieved tens of thousands of boxes packed full of toys and collectibles which would have made hundreds of thousands of pounds if all sold on. We believe these were stolen as part of an organized operation that impacted not only the West Midlands but elsewhere in the country,” Parker said.

Police received the information about the stolen goods and acted on it by sending its team to Bilston, where they found £200,000 ($267,000) worth of memorabilia inside trailers. More items were recovered during search operations in places like Yorkshire and Wednesfield.

A 42-year-old man was taken into custody on suspicion of handling stolen goods. However, he has been released as investigations continue.

All the recovered items have been returned to their owners, who believe that it has “returned their livelihoods.”

“The business owners told us it has returned their livelihoods and we're humbled to have been able to do so - especially given the impact of the pandemic. But we won’t let up until we catch and charge those responsible and our inquiries are very much ongoing,” Parker said.

The news comes almost two weeks after London’s Metropolitan Police recovered hundreds of internationally important and “culturally significant” books worth over $3.3 million from Romania.

The 240 books, stolen in 2017, were found hidden at a house in Romania and included rare works from Italian astronomer Galileo, English scientist Sir Isaac Newton and the 18th-century Spanish painter Francisco Goya.

Marvel Comics LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Comic Books and Graphic Novels for sale during Day 1 of the London Super Comic Con at Business Design Centre on August 25, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Ollie Millington/Getty Images) Photo: Photo by Ollie Millington/Getty Images