After spotting the theft on security footage, SoCal Comics owner Jamie Newbold put some stills out on Facebook and quickly heard from another retailer who identified the man as Buffer. Although he denied the theft at first, Buffer was arrested and charged. Newbold turned down Buffer’s request to go into a diversion program, which would have required him to pay back the money but would result in the case being dismissed if he met the terms of the program (see “Shop Talk”), saying he wanted Buffer to go to trial.
In the end, Buffer changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to one day in custody, one year of probation, and 12 days of community service; in addition, he must pay the store back, stay away for a year, and take an anti-theft course.
Newbold told the Post he was glad the case was closed, saying, “This man stressed me out, stressed out my employees, we remained stressed out. Fearful, looking at customers differently wondering who was gonna hurt us next and now that stress is taken off my shoulders because at least we got a win and we know we can find justice even if we have to do it ourselves.”