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Citadel and Chapel Hills Mall business owner under investigation for selling stolen retail items


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is now investigating businesses at the Citadel Mall, as well as the Chapel Hills Mall, for selling stolen retail merchandise.

Since 2022, the CSPD Retail, Pawn and Metal Theft unit, has been looking into the owners of a the 'Heroes and Legends' shop at the Citadel Mall, who also owns the 'Legends and Heroes' store at the Chapel Hills Mall.

CSPD believes that group was taking in stolen new-in-box goods and stolen over-the-counter items and reselling them for a lower price. 

"We have a lot of shoplifters that go in and take items from the retail stores, take them to locations like the ones where executing the warrants on where they're able to sell them for a lot cheaper than they're worth. And then these stores end up selling." explained Lieutenant Mark Chacon with CSPD.

CSPD, along with State Department of Revenue officials as well as loss prevention employees for large box retail companies, were at the Citadel Mall store packing up cardboard boxes of the business's inventory, which largely included collectible toys, such as Funko-Pop figurines.

Investigators could be seen loading the boxes into a U-Haul truck throughout Tuesday afternoon, before departing just after 3 p.m.

A similar investigation, and removal of evidence was carried out at the Chapel Hills Mall in Colorado Springs on Tuesday.

Aaron Bauer, a Colorado Springs resident who frequently used Heroes and Legends to collect, sell and trade Funko-Pops, says that he was stunned when he showed up to the store to see the large law enforcement presence.

"I mean, I was just pretty shocked. I mean, I'm a frequent customer. It makes me kind of wonder to myself, 'Do I have fake things in my collection now?' You know, 'How much was I overpaying?' 'Was I truly paying the right price?' You know, like [it] makes me feel kind of robbed." explained Bauer.

Bauer also said that the prices at the shop have typically been fair, however when it came to higher value Funko-Pop's, such as those with signatures or those that were more rare, the prices would be all over the place.

He cited one instance not long ago, where he went to buy a gift for a friend, and was given the price of $180 for a signed Funko-Pop. He then returned the next day to trade in items of his own to get a more favorable price, however was told that even though his trade-ins were about $200 in value, he would still need to pay them $180.

"That just makes no sense to me. How is a price going to change like that overnight? You know, it's just impossible." said Bauer, who says he is pretty well versed in the market for the figurines.

Meanwhile, the investigation at the Citadel Mall also included a space across from the Heroes and Legends store, which was a unit filled with various items and storage bins which mostly contained military items such as jackets, vests, helmets and armor plates.

"It's hard for me to say if any of that stuff is specifically stolen, but obviously there is a lot of military gear." said Macon. "So we've been in contact with our military installations and having that conversation with them about the stuff that we've located there." the Lieutenant said.

On Tuesday morning, CSPD and the El Paso County Sheriffs office executed a search warrant at a home in Lorson Ranch, as well as two other residences, in connection to individuals who are believed to own the two businesses.

CSPD says that one person was taken into custody following those search warrants, however have not identified the individual or the charges they face at the moment.

This remains an ongoing investigation. We will update you as we learn more.

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Tyler Cunnington

Tyler is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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