Million-Dollar Comic and Book Collection Stolen from Deceased Collector's Home in Portland

PORTLAND, Oregon - In a distressing turn of events, a vast comic and book collection estimated to be worth millions of dollars was pilfered from the home of a dedicated Portland collector shortly after his passing.

James Strand, the collector in question, passed away over the summer at his Lents-area residence, marking his 88th birthday. Susie Hasty, his niece and closest relative, received the devastating news while she was out of state.

Hasty expressed her shock, saying, "It was shocking. It was just shocking. His 88th birthday was August fourth, so you just don't even know how to think about it."

Upon her return to Portland, she was confronted with a disarrayed home, indicating that it had been repeatedly broken into. Most disheartening of all was the discovery that the thieves had made off with a remarkable comic book and book collection that she had been unaware of.

Hasty shared her dismay, stating, "The house had been broken into eight times. Every time the thieves went in, they would take more and more and more."

Fortunately, Hasty received invaluable assistance from experts in the bookselling industry, including Scott Brown, the proprietor of Downtown Brown Books.

Hasty expressed her gratitude, saying, "Honestly, without his help I would have no idea, I would have no idea what he had, what the value was, what I should even be thinking about."

While James Strand may not have been widely known, local booksellers like Brown have now gained insight into his remarkable and irreplaceable collection.

Brown emphasized the significance of Strand's collection, stating, "James Strand was one of the most important horror book collectors, and he collected all the way back to the early 20th Century. He collected a lot of original manuscripts, letters, irreplaceable items, artwork. So, those items, if they get lost, they're gone forever."

Brown became aware of the theft when potential sellers repeatedly brought valuable books to his shop, providing receipts linked to Strand. Suspecting foul play, he contacted adult protection services, eventually involving the FBI in the case.

Brown described the situation, saying, "Every single day, people would call and offer things that were obviously stolen from his collection so there were lots of lots of books being offered to lots and lots of people."

The FBI has taken up the case to alert the community and fellow booksellers about the stolen collection. Some items are valued between $500 and $6,000, while others are deemed so invaluable that they cannot be assigned a price.

In the past week, the FBI successfully recovered comic books, and Brown received a tip about the stolen books from Canada.

FBI agent Kieran Ramsey estimated the collection's value at around $2 million, with the potential for even higher estimates, given the recent surge in the collection's worth.

For Susie Hasty, this incident has been an opportunity to learn more about her late uncle and the world of horror books. It has also underscored the importance of staying connected with loved ones.

Hasty reflected on her experience, saying, "My only regret is not knowing him better, not knowing him closer. So, the lesson I've learned is, 'don't hold back.' Take the time, reach out to those you may not reach out to very often and just say 'hello,' tell them you love them."