Comic book superheroes always catch the bad guys, but who knew they could nab real-life ones as well?
In December 2007, Scott Meherg, 28, browsed the shelves of Graham Crackers Comics in Naperville before he settled on a purchase: "The Amazing Spider-Man."
But this was no ordinary comic book. It was the 1963 edition of "The Amazing Spider-Man, No. 2." He told the store manager "he wanted to buy the comic book for his father" and paid with a check for $980.99.
Meherg had most recently lived in Des Plaines and Cicero, but he completely disappeared after the manager discovered the check was phony.
Police caught up with the comic thief in September 2008 in Laredo, Texas. Meherg was extradited to Illinois, where he pled guilty to a felony charge of theft in DuPage County Circuit Court Thursday. He was ordered to pay $980.99 in restitution and sentenced to seven years in prison.
The valuable first-edition comic book has not been recovered.
Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, tried unsuccessfully to be interested in comic books.