VAN NUYS (CBS) — A Reseda man accused of stealing an estimated 3,000 movie posters worth more than $450,000 and selling them on an online auction site pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Christian Eric Stevens, 36, is charged with one count each of grand theft of personal property and receiving stolen property.
The criminal complaint includes an allegation that Stevens took property with a value exceeding $200,000 from CBS between June 3, 2011, and March 27, 2012.
“It doesn’t surprise me because these items continue to increase in value over time,” Julien’s Auctions of Beverly Hells owner Darren Julien said.
The L.A.P.D. says CBS security tipped off police who then went online to buy one of the posters.
They traced it back to house, got a search warrant, and found a trove of posters that had “not for resale” stamped on the back.
“They’re not meant for resale. Typically they get taken down and I think now, the companies hold onto them. They use to get disposed of, which makes it more valuable to the people that held onto them,” Julien said.
If convicted as charged, he faces up to five years behind bars, according to the District Attorney’s Office.