EVERETT — The Dark Knight has returned.
He’s locked up at the police station.
The 4½-foot Batman Funko Pop figure was stolen in a 3:30 a.m. “smash-and-grab” heist in October from the front window of Everett Comics downtown.
The caper made Crime Stoppers and Washington’s Most Wanted. Surveillance video showed two suspects scoping out the store before bashing the window to bag Batman, fleeing into the night in a red Mazda getaway car.
Social media exploded. Police chased a trail of leads.
The comic store put up a small vinyl sticker on the window in his absence. Batman was gone, but not forgotten, especially by the police who never stopped looking for the bad guys.
Months later — bam!
Everett detectives recovered Batman in Lynnwood in February. The call came from someone who had purchased the stolen figure and wanted to hand it over to police. The statue had a busted nose and scruffs. Missing was the bright blue Funko base that held up the rotund figure with a head as big as the body. His cowl was intact.
“We had to go in and identify him,” comic shop owner Charlie Knoedler said.
Sadly, Batman can’t go back to his store window.
Knoedler relinquished ownership when the theft claim was paid.
“He’s owned by the insurance company now,” he said.
Batman has called the Wetmore Avenue precinct home since.
You can see him peering from the second floor window in an office he shares with his fellow crime-fighters. He’s not available for selfies with the public.
“We are still trying to figure out what to do with him,” said property crimes police Det. Adam Gage, who worked hard on the case.
The caped crusader might get to stay on as a mascot. Or, holy guacamole, the insurance company could even decide to destroy him, Gage said.
What would you like to see happen to Batman?
This is more than a supersized $15 Funko Pop bobblehead.
“He is valued at more than $8,000,” Gage said.
Funko sold it to the store several years ago as a special edition piece on the condition it was not resold as a collector’s item.
The investigation is ongoing and almost complete. There are people of interest but no felony charges have been filed yet.
“It’s a case that has continued to unravel,” Gage said. “It has been lengthy, with a lot of interviews.”
Knoedler said the store got about 50 calls with reported sightings after the October bat-napping.
“People saying they found it, that somebody was selling it online,” Knoedler said. “We’d check it out and go, ‘No, that’s not it. That’s not four-and-a-half feet tall, that’s one foot tall.’ Customers would send us pictures of what people were posting. Some from out of state: ‘I’ve seen it, it’s down here in California.’”
Gage said it has been a memorable case, for sure. But the media attention is out of his comfort zone.
“I prefer to do my role and do it in the shadows,” he said.
Kind of like Batman.