Owner of largest Star Wars collection in plea to recover memorabilia

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The man with the world's largest Star Wars collection has asked fans to help him recover 200,000 dollars' worth (£155,000) of memorabilia allegedly stolen by a friend.

Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, have helped spread the word after collector Steve Sansweet made his claims public on Monday.

The Guinness World Records holder said he became aware in February that more than 100 items, many of them "rare and important pieces", were taken in 2015 and 2016.

Fellow collector Carl Cunningham, 45, of Georgia, USA, was charged with felony grand theft in March.

Mr Sansweet, who runs non-profit museum Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, California, said the incident is "emotionally devastating".

He wrote on his website: "I have known Carl for many years, considered him a good and trusted friend, and played host to him at my home numerous times.

"I, and the staff at Rancho Obi-Wan, are devastated that he is the alleged perpetrator of the thefts."

Mayhew described the news as "despicable" and urged fans to get the word out.

Hamill tweeted: "Maybe publish a list of stolen items to protect potential victims from purchasing 'hot' merchandise. #TheFraudIsStrongInThisOne #SithHappens."

Mr Sansweet has more than half-a-million unique items and took the world record in May 2015 when 93,260 were audited and categorised.

He called for collectors and fans to get in touch with information.