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"THEFT from Alumwell wargames show, Birmingham, UK" Topic

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Action Log

18 Mar 2004 9:33 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "THEFT fomr Alumwell wargames show, Birmingham, UK" to "THEFT from Alumwell wargames show, Birmingham, UK"
  • Removed from General Discussion board
  • Removed from SF Marketplace board
  • Removed from Fantasy Discussion board
  • Removed from Fantasy Auctions board
  • Removed from Clubs board
  • Removed from Fantasy Marketplace board

4,325 hits since 15 Mar 2004
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Heresy Miniatures Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 1:53 a.m. PST

Terrible news, people. I'll talk about how it specifically applies to my stuff, but it also applies to a lot of other stuff, read on.

At the Alumwell figure show in Walsall, Birmingham, a gang of thieves broke in over the Saturday night and targeted the stall of Dave Thomas. Dave stocks various figure ranges and for the first time was selling Heresy goods. To aid him, I had for the very first
time allowed my own painted figures, the ones from the website, to be borrowed for display purposes. They were hidden (in a large black games workshop 'hard' figure case, with the words 'Andy's 40k chaos' painted on in white paint) under a table in some empty cardboard boxes. The thieves stole all of Dave Thomas Games Workshop or similar-looking-to-GW (eg Void, Renegade) stock, which included all the Heresy stock. The Thieves also stole some of the painted fantasy and sci-fi figures he had, INCLUDING the Heresy figures! Now, I'm not *too* bothered about the stock, it can easily be replaced, I'd been paid...what has devastated me is that all the painted Heresy figures were stolen!!!

So, I'm asking everyone to help out here. The figures were all the painted ones from the site, more or less, plus one new Azaroth Fallen One in a red colour sheme with a one scythe, some (poor) black mottling on the wings. It is most likely that these figures will turn up either on Ebay, (probably being sold as gw stock, but possibly not since the thieves have all the blisters to refer to) or at a car boot sale somewhere in the country, probably in the midlands area. The Heresy blisters have pictures of the figures inside made out of paper I printed out. If you see a Heresy blister at your local car boot sale, and it has a picture in it of the figure inside, IT IS STOLEN goods and you must call the police immediately and get them to grab the trader. No other trader has ever had blisters with pictures of the figures inside, this was the first time I had done it.

I will give a reward (of stock) to anyone who leads to the recovery of any of the painted figures or even the stock, and helps to put these scum away behind bars.

So in summary, I am asking for your help to scour ebay and your local car boot sales or second hand stores in the coming month or
two. If you spot anything that looks like a pro-painted Heresy figure (or a half-painted winged netherlord, the back is black undercoated - they apparently left the white undercoated figure of the spined netherlord, they were clearly after GW style painted figs to sell on) or reminds you of one from the site, phone me with details or the police if you're sure what you're looking at. If the shop owner is a trustworthy type whom you know, ask him where he got the figure from. I want my painted children back, you have no idea
how much time and effort went into those for free on the behalf of the people who did them! It also means the cabinet's going to be pretty bare at Salute this year!

Hope you can help


Andy Foster
(pretty gutted and angry)

If you have any information regarding who did this crime, please let the local Alumwell/Walsall police know, and/or tell me what you know. you can either phone me 01332 678907 or email
Thanks, Andy

maxxon Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 2:56 a.m. PST

While this is awful and I feel for your loss (I'd be pissed if someone stole my paintjobs even though they suck), don't you think the thieves were rather selective?

I mean, if I were to do something like this, I'd probably drive a van to the loading gate, cram it full of stuff and get the heck outta Dodge before anyone notices and sort out the loot later. Sticking around to pick the choicest bits sounds like a risky plan to me.

I really hope they catch the culprits. This feels especially bad to me, it seems the thieves must be hobbyists themselves to even think of targeting a miniatures show. Getting ripped off by a random crackhead or whatever is one thing, but betrayed by your "own"... sucks.

Now I must get that Netherlord, it's the only morally right thing to do...

Acidarchie Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 3:02 a.m. PST

The painted wargods will be hard to sell on as Jim Bowen and Steve Mussered have only painted those you see at the shows on Daves stand, and none for other customers.So if you are offered them they are stolen goods. Dave is offering a reward for their return of £1000.

Heresy Miniatures Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 3:47 a.m. PST

The thieves stole all the stuff they knew they could sell the most easily: gw or gw-style, ww2, that sort of thing. Anything in a gw figure box (like my stuff) was nicked. They even nicked food and drinks from another stall to snack on as they worked! Never underestimate the intelligence of the devoted thief, by the sound of it these guys not only knew what they were looking for, they also had all night to do it as they broke in via an unalarmed door of the building. Apparently, the shows organisers have been pretty dismissive of the whole incident, i'm told.


Heresy Miniatures Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 4:26 a.m. PST

I have put up a list of the stolen figures that I had pictures of online. If you can print it out and give it to your local second-hand delaer or take it with you around the next car boot sale, it might lead to their safe return! Any help you can give is appreciated, and again, I will be giving a reward to anyone who can return some or all of the painted figures that are missing, or get the people responsible arrested.


Scurvy Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 4:41 a.m. PST

Very distinctive bases should be easy to spot. I hope you get your figs back Andy.

reggiemental Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 4:42 a.m. PST

here is a short list of what was nicked
@60 boxes of gw lotr
30 boxes of renegade 20 sets
@80 various void & celtos boxes
50 perry awi boxes
the full perry display in a yellow case
3 A&A miniatures painted Sassanid elephants and 8 cavalry
As andy has said all his painted display
100+ blisters of the new Disturbia stuff from graven images(this is brand new so should be easy to spot)
3 gw carry cases packed with well painted figs
a ww2 painted army in wooden carry boxes
and loads of other bits

Mr Elmo15 Mar 2004 5:19 a.m. PST

It's too bad this had to happen but I am left wondering something:

You are insured, right?

I'm not trying to make light of the situation, obviously there is the sense of loss and violation, plus painted figures can never be "replaced."

Just wondering.

Force of Arms Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 5:25 a.m. PST

I understand that this was the third break-in at the site in that week. I am led to believe that neither the Organisers nor the building management choose to inform Traders who were setting up and preparing to leave their stock overnight.

Personally I find that very poor.

I will certainly keep my eyes peeled, but suspect that all the boxed stock will have already have been sold at car-boot sales.

But what would they do with the Perry Miniatures display - largly unpainted and many boxes of that stock?

Several years ago HLBS, in the same area, were broken into and stock stolen - apparently to order. I hope this is not going to develop into a trend.

Bargins or not we must ALL guard against non-trade supplied resellers who suddenly or regularly carry quantities of stock. What are their sources?

PLEASE support legimate traders and ask the question before you buy.

Good luck Andy and others whose livlyhoods are endangered thus.

John FoA

Heresy Miniatures Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 5:33 a.m. PST

It's worse than my livelihood - it's my figure collection! waaagh!! (sob) (:-(

altfritz15 Mar 2004 5:33 a.m. PST

Do they not, as a rule, hire Night Watchmen to guard merchant's areas?

Otherdave Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 6:53 a.m. PST

A number of years ago, my family ran craft shows in malls in Eastern Ontario (Canada), and we always hired our own nighttime security. Keep in mind that this is in the context of a mall, typically with its own guards.

If I were a stockist planning to attend a show, I would be VERY vocal about about after-hours security - petty shrinkage alone could kill your margin, let alone the organized pillage you poor guys faced. Failing that, maybe it's time for the stockists to organize themselves and either hire their own security or work in shifts to sleep in the venue overnight.

The thieves sounded like they knew exactly what they were looking for, which means they were hobbyists like you and me. The painted items were probably stolen as trophies and not for resale.

What you need to hope for is that somebody will open their big mouths about the cool figures they acquired for their personal collection.

Other Dave

Mike of White Dog Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 8:58 a.m. PST

For the benefit of those not in the know, only a handful of traders unloaded on the Saturday, most of us arrived on the Sunday morning, so although seeming selective, the selection was not as wide ranging as it could have been. Dave's stand was just inside a door up to which a vehicle could be driven although I don't know if that was the door used. I have asked questions about insurance on a UK wargames newsgroup and it looks like this kind of setup is almost uninsurable. Most other venues we use overnight do have security from the venue owners or the local club.
I know that we all felt for Dave and Jon yesterday, now add Andy to the list. I have known Dave for years and through his trading he has put a hell of a lot into this hobby. He don't deserve this!

reggiemental Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 10:05 a.m. PST

great news folks
the cops have just phoned dave thomas to say that all his stuff has been recovered and three people are in police custody.
its fashionable to say that the police are useless but they have done a great job.

Mike of White Dog Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 10:25 a.m. PST

And Dave had to insist that the Police became involved! The locals, presumable the Alumwell Club and the School Official (I called him a caretaker and he corrected me but I can't remember the title!) we not going to bring them in.
Good News

Minidragon Fezian Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 11:32 a.m. PST

If all has been recovered I'm happy for you guys! It sucks that this had to happen to you...

At least it sounds as though the criminals could easily be charged with grand theft (well painted mini's aint cheap)...a felony or whatever it's equivalent where you are maybe they'll get to do some time for their stupidity. Here's hoping!

Heresy Miniatures Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 11:39 a.m. PST


Take that, criminal masterminds!!!!

I am sooooo happy and relieved. It's like someone rescued my children (sort of)!! Big resepct to the police, i'd love to know how they got the buggers so fast...all my painted figures back, absolutely brilliant...I'm off to get drunk as a celebration!

Cheers to everyone who has sent emails of support!


major blunder Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 12:09 p.m. PST

It will be interesting to hear the whole story once the crooks are processed and hopefully charged!

MASKFXCAMO Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 12:20 p.m. PST

"The locals, presumable the Alumwell Club and the School Official (I called him a caretaker and he corrected me but I can't remember the title!) we not going to bring them in."

Thats does not surprise me, they certainly were not interested when i had a large Dirstside army and some other stuff nicked off there bring and buy and few years ago.

Still glad to read your items have been recovered, i know what a sickner it all is.

No Name02 Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 1:57 p.m. PST

Great news.

Looks like time to boycott the Alumwell show. Really poor response from the organisers.

Partizanmeister SloppyJalopy Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 2:53 p.m. PST

Glad to hear the police have recovered the stuff. Must have been heart-rending for you and Dave Thomas.



ming31 Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 3:09 p.m. PST

Punishment for the offenders? ...Chain them to the coal boilers to keep the smelting pots hot ! Shootins too good for em , burnin too good for em , they should be torn up into little peices and buried alive! ( Hannover Fist)

Heresy Miniatures Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 3:12 p.m. PST

Especially Dave - this was the first time I had leant him models and he felt really guilty, as if it was his fault. It wasn't of course, but he still felt bad. But at this point, i'm happy to say, I have had two pints of Cockburns Special Reserve Port and feel no ill will to anyone. Cept the robbers, of course... Drink sensibly, kids. It's not clever...
I'd agree about the boycott, poor show from the organisers by all accounts. If Dave and Jonathan White hadn't reported it, my minis would still be missing!


RJT200315 Mar 2004 3:24 p.m. PST

I certainly won't be going again. Even if I ignore any failings on the part of the organisers, the venue is diabolical. No parking, and the toilets are worse than any I have ever seen, including Glastonbury :)

Tricks Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 3:36 p.m. PST

Excellent news. :-))

Hopefully everything will be returned in good order and echoing the other comments both congratulations to the police and to Dave and John for insisting they come in and shame on the organisers for not doing enough either before or after the event.



Sir Able Brush Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2004 3:45 p.m. PST

If its right great news - hurray to the wargames community for being vigilant and full marks to the police for taking this seriously.

maxxon Inactive Member15 Mar 2004 10:37 p.m. PST


Great news. I hope they get what they deserve... but I'll still have to get that Netherlord.

But not calling the cops when you have a break-in and your guests'/customers' stuff is stolen? I'd stay 20 miles away from people like that.

Mike of White Dog Inactive Member16 Mar 2004 12:15 a.m. PST

Quicky back to RTJ 2003. My friend Doug who works on the Irregular stand was an architect prior to retirement. He saw exposed asbestos in the gents toilets and stated that they should have been closed! Yet Wallsall Council lets kids use them every day!!!

Scurvy Inactive Member16 Mar 2004 3:58 a.m. PST

Good news :)

Im glad you got your figs back Andy. Unfortunatly it sounds more like stupid school kids than criminal masterminds. More like criminal dunderheads in my book.

Worst thing is if they are juvies, they are going to walk with a slap on the wrist. Poor little Douglas was lead astray by video games and all that kybosh they speil the beak with these days will get em off in no time.

My advice is say you mearly wish them to clean and repair the gents toliets at that hall of doom as pennence for their foolish wickedness.

Even if it is a bit Eric Cartman evil. :)

Coyote Fezian16 Mar 2004 7:41 a.m. PST

no no, make them eat their parents. (that's Eric Cartment Evil)

Longshot Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member16 Mar 2004 11:49 a.m. PST

You know, I NEVER would have expected to hear about something like this when I was growing up. Of course, gaming wasn't nearly as popular or mainstream as it has become in recent years (thanks largely to GW, though nobody likes to admit it).

My question is...does this represent one more way in which the "old school" core gaming community must adapt to the current and future states? When something is truly "niche", one tends to know everyone else, things are pretty neighborly, and if someone does try to pull something, people invariably know what really went on.

Now, there are so many people involved (and not just the good old fashioned, trustworthy geek crowd anymore), one is bound to come across those who game simply because everyone else does it, not because they love it, ergo no sense of community or conscience regarding what they do or to whom they do it. With the larger audience, the hobby is also attracting different types of peolple. As aforementioned, one of the reasons I hung out with my old pals was because we shared similar values. The hobby's popularity is bound to attract those from the mainstream with the abhorrent sense of entitlement that many of us hate so much. Finally, one will invariably have those who may not be into gaming, but they always know where the quick buck can be made. While many criminals have their own "thing" to be into, many others constantly scan the horizon for the quickest and best opportunities.

In closing, my hope is that this ultimately can be seen as a silver lining to a very dark cloud. Things like this don't happen until something becomes very much in demand...let's all hope that it reflects, in good ways, the future of our hobby and passion.

Alxbates Inactive Member16 Mar 2004 8:43 p.m. PST

Those are some nice figures - glad to hear you got them back.

Maybe this is an English thing, but, what's a car boot sale?

legatushedlius17 Mar 2004 1:28 a.m. PST

Car boot sales started off a few years ago. Essentially the idea was that ordinary people drive their cars into a field, pay a fee (say 10) and sell off all their old junk at knock down prices from their car boot (trunk for our North American friends).

Unfortunately, the whole idea has been hi-jacked by "traders" who sell all sorts of cheap tat without having to pay for running a shop or pay income tax. Worse than that it's now a perfect way to fence stolen goods. Particularly things like bicycles which are often stolen to order and appear at the follwoing weeks event.

"Do you have a childs bike for an eight year old?"

"Oh yes, guv, but we didn't bring it with us. We'll bring it next week if you want it. Any particular colour you interested in.."

Personally I think they have done more to encourage petty theft and burglary than anything else in Britain and they should be banned..

alien BLOODY HELL surfer Inactive Member17 Mar 2004 5:36 a.m. PST

Car boot sales - think garage/yard sales - but more than one person's crap. Used to be pretty good for the odd bargain (such as a 30+ star wars figure for 50p!) but nowadays as mentioned above it's full of Didicoys (pikies/gypsies), black market traders, thieves etc all scamming the system. It's shame but a fact of life in this day and age that someone will always try and find a way to make money illegally.

Whose up for a bank job with me? Fort Knox? ;-)


Griefbringer17 Mar 2004 5:49 a.m. PST

"It will be interesting to hear the whole story once the crooks are processed and hopefully charged!"

Especially interesting would be to hear what the heck they were planning to do with all that stolen stuff. Might help in future in preventing or tracking down future miniature thefts.


1815Guy Inactive Member21 Mar 2018 2:08 p.m. PST

Well, I hope the thieves get plenty of time in stir to develop their figure painting skills to a high standard….

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member21 Mar 2018 2:46 p.m. PST

After 14 years, I am sure they have done so…

I wonder if they have been released from prison yet.

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2018 3:50 p.m. PST

Teach 'em a historical lesson: Crassus (substitute melted lead figures for molten gold); Giles Corey executed for witchcraft by being pressed to death (minis get _heavy_ don'tcha know); or the infamous Death by a Thousand cuts (a single X-Acto slice for each GBP retail value stolen).

Poniatowski Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member22 Mar 2018 9:27 a.m. PST

Due to the lack on local authority and interest by the property owners.. it sounds like this was an inside job…. they knew which door, etc….

Glad they are in custody…. but I will still wonder.. inside job or not? If this was the third incident, you would think that they would have fixed the alarm after the first… or even the second break in…. whomever was doing it, knew exactly what they were doing.

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