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DENVER — About $42,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from a well-known Denver comic book store.

The valuable books had been locked in Mile High Comics’ showcase at 4600 Jason St. ahead of Denver Pop Culture Con this weekend.

Mile High Comics is known for its large collection. The store has some of the rarest and most expensive comic books in the world.

The Denver Police Department said the burglar was able to smash the glass in the store’s showcase and grab some of the most valuable books inside.

That includes the first “Avengers” comic book, the first “Iron Man” book and a rare autographed “Spider-Man” edition.

The “Avengers” book is work about $14,000, according to experts. In all, 14 books worth more than $40,000 total were taken.

The store has security pictures of the thief. Anyone with information is asked to call police. Anonymous tips can be made to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at: 720-913-7867.

Owner Charles Rozanski is trying to figure out why someone would steal what they did.

“I can’t figure this one out, unless it was someone stealing for their own collection or stealing for someone else’s collection. They knew exactly what they were doing. They smashed out just so they could get to the one they wanted,” Rozanski said.

He said this isn’t the first time someone has stolen from him.

“This building consists of what people haven’t stolen from me. Fanatics fall in love with stuff and they want it really badly and it’s very hard for them to resist the temptation of taking what isn’t theirs,” Rozanski said.

Rozanski said he is just trying to stay positive.

“When you have a misfortune, you find out who your friends are. We have had such an outpouring, it’s been really really wonderful. Thank you,” he said.