In a letter by Mike Malve, owner of the Atomic Comics chain in Phonenix, Arizona, talks about the reasons for the bankruptcy of the business and the foreclosure of his family home. Too high rents, a falling economy, but Mike points to one moment in 2006 as the catalyst for the company’s problems, “when a 16 year old uninsured driver, drover her car through the window of our Mesa Superstore, our largest and greatest revenue producer. This in turn caused a flood as the water main had been hit. This caused such severe damage and loss that we had to shut down for over 5 months. The damages were so severe we lost close to a million dollars in product. The loss of revenue due to being closed all those months as we headed into retail’s busiest season was astronomical.”
A report at the time stated that “A 16-year-old girl told police she accidentally crashed into a Mesa comic book shop Tuesday, bursting a water pipe, flooding the store and causing at least $1 million in damage. The teenager initially denied causing the crash, but later told police she thought she was applying the brake but hit the gas and smashed into the store around 9 a.m., Mesa police Sgt. Chuck Trapani said. She told police she was frightened and fled in the vehicle. Witnesses got a description of the vehicle, a 1996 Oldsmobile Achieva, and a possible license plate. Police later tracked the registered owner of the car and found the driver. Police are trying to determine the suspect’s state of mind to determine whether charges will be made, Trapani said.”
There are no signs that the girl in question was ever prosecuted.