03 February 2023- A West Virginia man is behind bars in Franklin County after he allegedly breaks into his friend’s sister’s apartment and steals dozens of mint condition Funko Pops. Benjamin Jacob Harding Jr is charged with felony burglary, felony criminal trespassing, misdemeanor theft, and misdemeanor criminal mischief. Harding is behind bars on $25,000 bail.
On January 7th 2023 police were called to a home on S Church Street for reports of a non-active burglary. Upon arrival, police spoke to the victim who said she found her home burglarized while she was at work last night. The victim allegedly said that when she got home from her job on third shift she found her home rummaged through and some of her furniture damaged. Missing from the apartment was approximately 50 Funko Pops, collectable figurines still in their boxes for increased value. The victim gave police a value but since that was hard to determine from the varied amount based off each figurine, they were unable to figure out an exact number that were stolen. When asked about a potential perpetrator, the victim allegedly said it may have been her brother’s ex-roommate. Pressed whether this roommate, Benjamin Harding, would have a key or not, the victim allegedly didn’t know. It was allegedly confirmed later by her brother that when the victim called him to give the key back Harding never did.
Police found using Maryland’s Rapid System that Harding had pawned 15 Funko Pops to a pawn broker on Washington Street in Hagerstown approximately 12 days later. Speaking with the owner of the pawn shop, it was allegedly confirmed that Harding brought in the items that day and they were on hold. Additionally, the owner allegedly said that an additional person came in with Harding that day. In total, police allegedly seized a total of 46 Funko Pops, with an estimated value of $690.
On January 26th, police contacted the person of interest allegedly also with Harding the day of the sale. He allegedly said that on the day of the first sale, January 11th, Harding contacted him by Snapchat and asked him to come to a pawnshop with him. When they both got there, Harding allegedly pulled out a laundry bag of Funko Pops from the car he was driving. They went in to pawn the items when Harding allegedly asked if he could use the person of interest’s ID because he had forgot his own. Thinking nothing of it, the person of interest let it happen. This again happened on January 14th, and both men went to the pawn shop. The person of interest also allegedly brough items he wanted to pawn but since the shop owner did not want them, Harding used his own ID this time to sell more Funko Pops.
Harding is behind bars on $25,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for February 14th.
Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39302-CR-0000065-2023, Incident Number: WPD-202300256