(Topic ID: 169593)

Stolen Pinball Machines - Wichita KS


By Xerico

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 42 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by sohchx
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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-1
#1 3 years ago

~~~ STOLEN PINBALL MACHINES ~~~

Local (Wichita, Ks.) vending company United Distributors reached out the other day and asked for help and to keep an eye out for a lot of 20 pinball machines that were stolen out of one of their properties. The building was full of vending stock including 40 to 50 arcades, a hand full of pool tables and a few Jukeboxes. The thieves targeted just the pins, taking all of the pinball machines & only the pinball machines. United is offering a $500 reward for info that leads to the recovery of their stolen pins. They also said that they would be willing to not press charges if the entire lot of stolen pins were returned uncompromised. They provided a list of the missing pin titles/serial numbers. If the pinball community is able to help out with this it could lead to United opening up and freeing some of the 100's of pins they've had locked away for the last 20 yrs. in many storage properties in and around Wichita. .....

So if you come across any new sale for one of these titles, here is some information that could help you determine if the game is one of the stolen.

NAME SERIAL NUMBER

Addams Family 62969
Batman Forever 123954
Bram Strokers Dracula 49421
Car Hop 76166
Dirty Harry 113544
Frankenstein 118684
Getaway 853484
Hollywood Heat 4019
Mavrick 115615
Monte Carlo 19797
Mousin' Around 301160
No Fear 100354
Shadow 100403
Phantom of the Opera 20464
Pinball Magic 1018
Police Force 270876
Pool Sharks 370489
Road Show 100501
South Park 146391
Starship Troopers 142601

#2 3 years ago

I'll keep an eye out. This is hard for me to believe. I personally know the owner and operator of United and have been to the main facility many times, even purchased a number of machines from them in the past. I wonder which of their locations this happened at because most all of these titles aren't/weren't in the main facility the last time I was there. They do have many storage places though, including somewhere in downtown Wichita I was told. I imagine that's where this occurred.

#4 3 years ago
Quoted from Xerico:

If the pinball community is able to help out with this it could lead to United opening up and freeing some of the 100's of pins they've had locked away for the last 20 yrs. in many storage properties in and around Wichita.

Why would this make any difference at all? *scratch head*

Sucks that games got stolen, but if they've been sitting on games for 20 years, they obviously weren't motivated to sell them out before? If anything maybe the fact that they lost inventory they haven't been selling should be a motivator to reduce down, consolidate locations, and make the ones they do have more secure, I'd think...

I patrol CL for KS/OK/TX/MO/AR/LA, I'll keep an eye out but man...bleh.

*edit* I am not in any way condoning or supporting what happened to them.

#5 3 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

Why would this make any difference at all? *scratch head*
Sucks that games got stolen, but if they've been sitting on games for 20 years, they obviously weren't motivated to sell them out before? If anything maybe the fact that they lost inventory they haven't been selling should be a motivator to reduce down, consolidate locations, and make the ones they do have more secure, I'd think...
I patrol CL for KS/OK/TX/MO/AR/LA, I'll keep an eye out but man...bleh.

Yeah. Trying to buy anything from them takes a hostage negotiator-style type of training. They won't sell anything unless it's working and even then, the prices are retail, even for stuff that's 30 years old. I have been able to purchase a few machines in the past, but no popular titles because those are the ones they try and gouge you on.

#6 3 years ago

Hope they catch them. It would take a while and a BIG truck to haul away that many machines.

I was going to post " I hate hoarders" but it would probably come out wrong so never mind.

-8
#7 3 years ago

I would think maybe its $500 per machine. Why even get involved for $500.

#8 3 years ago

Terrible news

Can they determine how long the games have been missing ?

I bought my NIB from them Jess Littlejohn was my guy very nice and great service

Hope they surface - awesome they knew the serial numbers

29
#9 3 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

I would think maybe its $500 per machine. Why even get involved for $500.

I think a lot of people, myself included, would keep an eye out without needing to be compensated for it.

It's a small community - let's not be strangers.

#10 3 years ago

Uh - those serial numbers aren't serial numbers. I'm not even sure what those numbers would be.

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Uh - those serial numbers aren't serial numbers. I'm not even sure what those numbers would be.

Those are stock numbers. Every item in their inventory has a stock number written on it somewhere in white grease pencil. That's how they keep track of everything. They have a LOT of stuff.

#12 3 years ago

Sorry to hear this. I HATE theives.

#13 3 years ago

Here are some pictures I took of the last time I was there. This is not where the machines that were stolen were being kept, but it gives you an idea of how much stuff they have, and this is just one location...(you can see the grease pencil stock numbers on some of the cabinets)...

Damn. Stand by.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from Zenomorp:

Yeah. Trying to buy anything from them takes a hostage negotiator-style type of training. They won't sell anything unless it's working and even then, the prices are retail, even for stuff that's 30 years old. I have been able to purchase a few machines in the past, but no popular titles because those are the ones they try and gouge you on.

They are a retail shop so why wouldn't their prices be at retail? I have been in to talk to them a few times and look at the inventory for sale list. They don't have what I want so I have not bought anything from them. The place is a mess and looks like a salvage yard for pinball and arcade games, but I don't think they are rubes; I think they know the market for what they have and price accordingly.

#15 3 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

They are a retail shop so why wouldn't their prices be at retail? I have been in to talk to them a few times and look at the inventory for sale list. They don't have what I want so I have not bought anything from them. The place is a mess and looks like a salvage yard for pinball and arcade games, but I don't think they are rubes; I think they know the market for what they have and price accordingly.

True, but they want $1500 for a water damaged, faded, scratched up Ms. Pac/Galaga/etc simply because they are popular titles. I should have specified that I was talking more about arcade cabs than pins. But if you went in and said "I want that broken down Addams," they won't sell it to you, even if you make them a decent off because their policy is they won't sell anything unless it's working.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from ryanwanger:

I think a lot of people, myself included, would keep an eye out without needing to be compensated for it.
It's a small community - let's not be strangers.

"It's a small community - let's not be strangers"

I would agree. So why would the owner of the pins not make this thread then?

-9
#17 3 years ago

Wow $500 bucks huh!! For like $40,000+ worth of machines. So generous.

#18 3 years ago

What happens if you buy a pin that is later found to be stolen? Do you just lose your money and the pin at that point? Makes me want to be more alert on "to good to be true" deals.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from stpcore:

What happens if you buy a pin that is later found to be stolen? Do you just lose your money and the pin at that point? Makes me want to be more alert on "to good to be true" deals.

That's a possibility, yes.

#20 3 years ago

Something's amiss. I've heard two versions of this story. Why are the police not involved? Why is united not on pinside with a feature add asking for help?
I understand reaching out to the moderator's for help.
But why not be more proactive?
I also believe insurance company should and would be involved by now.
20 machines, no alarms, video..???
I have moved that many on same day with crew, even in middle of night. This takes time.
Inside job, question facility workers. Lie detector staff.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Something's amiss. I've heard two versions of this story. Why are the police not involved? Why is united not on pinside with a feature add asking for help?
I understand reaching out to the moderator's for help.
But why not be more proactive?
I also believe insurance company should and would be involved by now.
20 machines, no alarms, video..???
I have moved that many on same day with crew, even in middle of night. This takes time.
Inside job, question facility workers. Lie detector staff.

My thoughts exactly something is being left out.

-2
#22 3 years ago

Up the reward to a choice of one of the pins?

11
#23 3 years ago

Man, you guys are some greedy bastages. SMH... I know we all pretty much don't like retailers because their business is to extract as much money as possible from our wallets, but can we stop pretending this was just someone playing a prank or something? This is grand theft. It's a felony. /boggle You're not entitled to be paid to just be a decent person and report something suspicious if you see it.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Something's amiss. I've heard two versions of this story. Why are the police not involved?
Inside job, question facility workers. Lie detector staff.

I'm sure they'd have detectives working in shifts, csi, FBI etc.. The police seriously wouldn't give a shit. This would be a "call us back if you figure anything out" type of situation.

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

"It's a small community - let's not be strangers"
I would agree. So why would the owner of the pins not make this thread then?

I am the actual original writer of this post. As I started spreading the post first to the key contact that I am fortunate enough to know & call friend they wanted to help spread the work and I thank them. Now, with that said let me address this question that everyone keeps pondering (understandably). Both the comp. owner & gen. manager have been running the biz for many many yrs. They are both getting up there age wise and are not social media savvy at all. Their extent of being in touch with today's pinball community is no better. Knowing that I run the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/pinballwichita/ they contacted me and asked for my help.

Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Something's amiss. I've heard two versions of this story. Why are the police not involved? Why is united not on pinside with a feature add asking for help?
I understand reaching out to the moderator's for help.
But why not be more proactive?
I also believe insurance company should and would be involved by now.
20 machines, no alarms, video..???
I have moved that many on same day with crew, even in middle of night. This takes time.
Inside job, question facility workers. Lie detector staff.

The police are involved, A police report was filed at the time the crime was discovered. As far as being proactive, I think they did pretty good. They contacted me yesterday morning, I went in and talked to them that afternoon and picked up the list of stolen pins when id'ing numbers. I spent 30 mins writing the original post this morning before leaving for work. And, at this point with the help of some of the very "movers & shakers" friends/colleagues here in the in the mid-west region we've already found and confirmed most of the titles by connecting the dots. While the the dissectors spent the day dissecting, debating and sniffing at the story. So, I say sniffers keep sniffin', baters keep bating and chatter keep chatting. But as for me and the other flippers out there, it's Saturday night! Time for the flippers to get flippin'!

#26 3 years ago

Seems they'll only not press charges if the "entire lot" is returned "uncompromised". What if one of them has a suicided battery? Will the thieves then be forced to poenas dare?

#27 3 years ago

20 machines, no video surveillance, nothing else was touched.
This is a inside job for sure.
Strange number for the reward info, 500 bucks.

#28 3 years ago
Quoted from Neuromancer87:

Wow $500 bucks huh!! For like $40,000+ worth of machines. So generous.

The $500 is to motivate the d-bag meth-heads to rat each other out. Normal decent people will help out no matter what

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from Tubes:

Seems they'll only not press charges if the "entire lot" is returned "uncompromised". What if one of them has a suicided battery? Will the thieves then be forced to poenas dare?

Sounds like they don't know much about the machines besides a non official serial number. If they had pictures and more information about them actually working that would help a bit. We might just see $40k in parts show up instead of machines.

20
#30 3 years ago

Let me get this straight, if somebody steals something valuable of yours and I find it, then you are happy for me to charge you hundreds or even thousands to give back what is rightfully yours? How about if you happen to come across one of these you do the right thing by reporting it to the police and gracefully reject the reward or have them donate it to charity?

Not sure which is worse: stealing or expecting to profit from someone else's misfortune. Very disappointed with many of these comments.

#31 3 years ago

The price of the reward lets the rats turn on each other, that's the bait.

#32 3 years ago

To those who are in the Wichita area and/or know the folks at United, is Jess still over there? I haven't spoken to him in quite some time, but he is a good guy.

Brad

#33 3 years ago

Yikes! All this bashing of the victim sure makes the community look bad...

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from digit:

And, at this point with the help of some of the very "movers & shakers" friends/colleagues here in the in the mid-west region we've already found and confirmed most of the titles by connecting the dots.

Good news!

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from albummydavis:

The $500 is to motivate the d-bag meth-heads to rat each other out. Normal decent people will help out no matter what

Are there a lot of tweakers that like to casually browse internet pinball forums?

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from Neuromancer87:

Are there a lot of tweakers that like to casually browse internet pinball forums?

If you haven't seen the story about the STTNG that was picked up in Louisiana backwoods....you really need to find it on here and read it.

Yes, there are some real, legitimate, scary crackheads in pinball.

#37 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr_Tantrum:

Let me get this straight, if somebody steals something valuable of yours and I find it, then you are happy for me to charge you hundreds or even thousands to give back what is rightfully yours?

No, that's called extortion. What I think some people are saying is that for such a pricey loss, such a small reward begs the question: if you don't care about your items, why should we?

While the point is been made that good people should seek to prevent evil when they see it, simply out of the goodness of their hearts, there is something to be said about fostering good will within a community -- especially when your company has a reputation for being niggardly.

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

If you haven't seen the story about the STTNG that was picked up in Louisiana backwoods....you really need to find it on here and read it.
Yes, there are some real, legitimate, scary crackheads in pinball.

Okay but something tells me I'm in for some weird reading!

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from Neuromancer87:

Okay but something tells me I'm in for some weird reading!

Grab a stiff drink for this, you will want it.

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Grab a stiff drink for this, you will want it.

TRUTH!

And the creepy part is that I talked to this guy BEFORE these events happened. I was literally heading back from vacation in New Orleans, wife and I were going to stop and get this, but the guy didn't reply to me until after we were passed, wanted me to come back the following week...we declined!

3 months later
#42 3 years ago

So what ever came of this? We're any of the machine's ever found??

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