Sony Pictures has high hopes for its forthcoming superhero flick, Spider-Man. And if the larcenous byproduct of its recent promotion for the film’s 2002 release is any indication, there’s cause for optimism.

The studio recently broke a two-week teaser effort, in which more than 100 bus-shelter posters of the Webslinger were placed in 10 top markets, such as New York and Los Angeles. In addition, each market got one poster of Spidey’s nemesis, Green Goblin.

Neither hero nor villain was identified by name in the ads. Still, they must have been too good to resist—because they kept getting stolen.

Sony Pictures reckons at least two dozen of all the posters have been nabbed since they went up. In L.A. alone, 21 Spider-Man and three Green Goblin prints were picked.

And at one site near the L.A. offices of Sony Pictures’ media agency, Universal McCann, there was even a double snatch. At 9:00 a.m. one morning, agency execs re ported that one poster had been ripped off. Sony Pictures replaced it. By 11:30 a.m., the second one had been nicked.

Hopefully, the thieves will be caught. If not, the least they could do is see the movie—but they’ll probably sneak in.