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Calif. man accused of stealing nearly $500,000 in movie posters

Los Angeles County prosecutors say a man stole 3,000 movie posters for films including "The Hunger Games" Wikipedia

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged a California man with stealing nearly $500,000 worth of movie posters for scores of films, including current blockbuster "The Hunger Games."

The Los Angeles Times reports Christian Eric Stevens, 36, appeared in a Van Nuys courtroom to answer charges that he stole 3,000 movie posters owned by CBS from bus shelters, to sell them on an online auction site for more than $450,000.

He pleaded not guilty to one count each of grand theft of personal property and receiving stolen property.

The thefts allegedly occurred in the San Fernando Valley since  June 201.

Acting on a tip from CBS security, LAPD detectives from the West Valley Division went online to purchase one of the posters. After securing a search warrant for Stevens' home, investigators found a trove of the posters, which have "not for resale" stamped on the back.

"There were posters for virtually every movie that's been out for the last two years," said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

If convicted on all charges, Stevens faces a maximum of five years behind bars.

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