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Suspect charged in theft of thousands of rare comics

scales of justice
Posted at 2:00 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 09:44:01-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Strozier Library's Former Head of Security Todd Anthony Peak is facing charges in the theft of thousands of comic books and literature from Florida State University's Strozier Library.

His charges include grand theft of more than $100,000, fraud, dealing in stolen property and sale of stolen property via the internet, according to a Leon County Sheriff's Office arrest report.

Florida State University has released the following statement regarding Peak:

"Todd Peak is no longer employed with the university. The investigation that led to Peak’s arrest is open and active. The university will share additional information at the appropriate time."

According to court documents from the Leon County Circuit Court, Peak had one of the four keys that allowed entry into the area where these comic books were located within the subbasement of Strozier Library.

The subbasement is not open to the public and, when FSU was shut down during the pandemic, Peak's role was deemed "essential" and he continued to work within the library.

When FSU released information about the missing comics in September 2021, officers were alerted by the owner of a Suwannee County comic shop that he was "pretty sure" he knew who the suspect in the theft was.

Officers were told that Peak entered Wilde Comics and Gaming with two long boxes "full of absolutely gorgeous very high-grade silver age comic books (1970-1984" and said that a family member had died and that he wasn't interested in these specific comics.

Peak's behavior was described as "odd and cagey" during transactions.

Court documents also show Peak made posts in a Facebook group stating he was "looking to downsize his collection" and was seen in Facebook Lives selling comics that were all listed as stolen from the collection at the university.

In January 2022, a search warrant was issued to Google for Peak's searches. This revealed that Peak conducted 448 searches in regards to the stolen comic books, frequently looking for the book's value.

According to court documents, some of these searches were "very distinct to the Ervin collection and not the searches of an average comic book collector."

Of the 5,000 comic books stolen, roughly 2,843 have been recovered at this time, according to court documents.

The following is the entire court document outlining details of this case:

Court documents show that Peak was bonded out Saturday, Feb. 5.

This is a developing story.