Pokémon cards worth estimated $50,000 are plundered from Missouri game store, it says



A Missouri game store says it’s missing thousands of dollars’ worth of Pokémon cards after surveillance video captured two people breaking in earlier this month.

Jerry Lathem has loved trading cards since the mid 1980s, KOLR reported.

He now owns Gamemaster — a game store in Springfield — which touts itself as having “the Midwest’s largest collection of unopened Pokémon and Magic The Gathering Trading Card Games.”

But in the early hours of Feb. 17, Gamemaster’s collection was plundered when two people broke into the store.

It happened around 2 a.m.

“They broke all the glass out (of the door), completely,” Lathem told KOLR. “The top to the bottom. Just completely. Then the two of them, they sat here, and they were banging away at this glass and broke it.”

Surveillance video posted to Facebook shows two people entering the building and walking through the store to a display case.

They stay at the case for nearly a minute before leaving. One person turns around and returns to the case for a moment then books it out the door.

Dyan Westfall, who manages the store, told KY3 that the people responsible appeared to know exactly where they were going.

“We do think it was someone who has been in the store before,” Westfall told the outlet. “You can see they come straight in the door and walk straight to this showcase. Busted the glass out and start grabbing stuff.”

Among the items missing were a Pokémon Base Set Unlimited booster box, an Evolutions booster box, nine EX Sandstorm booster packs, 20 Fossil booster packs, two Roaring Skies booster boxes and a Darkness Ablaze theme deck.

Gamemaster told McClatchy News the missing cards are worth an estimated $50,000.

“It kind of hurts losing something you can’t replace,” Lathem told KOLR.

Store officials filed a police report and are asking customers to keep an eye out for “any large or unusual Pokémon packs floating around.”

Other game stores in the area are also keeping an eye out for any stolen cards that may come through their doors.

James Bates, manager of Meta Games Unlimited in Springfield, said the gaming community rallies around stores that are burglarized.

“It’s a crazy thing, Pokémon cards have had a huge resurgence lately, it is sold out everywhere,” he told KY3. “We typically will have people get us a police report number, and then we keep that on file here if anything suspicious comes through we call and notify them like, ‘Hey, this is in reference to this case.’”

Anyone with information on the incident — or who comes across cards they believe were stolen — is asked to contact the Springfield Police Department at 864-1810, the Ozarks Independent reported.



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