$70,000 Pokémon card thief hid them at mom’s house

A photo from my son's Pokémon card folder showing a bunch of rare rainbow cards and what I'm pretty sure is a fake ultra-rare Charizard GX.

A photo: Kotaku

Last week, a warehouse worker at one of the UK’s largest trading card companies was found guilty of stealing more than $70,000. Pokemon cards, and then hid them… at his mom’s house.

Over the past few years, Pokémon cards have become a hot commodity, and specific cards are in demand. unusual prices on the auction. Even recently out-of-print decks of cards can be sold in large quantities, and this has led to more stories of theft from valuable cardboard. AT Pokemon The company tried to solve this problem printing billions more cardsbut they seem to remain a strong temptation to thieves.

Kyriakos Christou worked in a warehouse Ltd. “Magic crazy house”, an online retailer for CCG and board games based in Enfield, North London. For several months he stole more and more Pokemon cards, becoming increasingly brazen in his thefts, said Magic Madhouse owner Michael Duke. Kotaku.

“He would take the cards out of the boxes and put them in his pocket,” Duke explained. “We didn’t have CCTV indoors at the time, so if he was isolated, he used that as an opportunity to grab things.” This included individual cards, boosters, and boosters, the latter costing between $100 and $1,000. “He was aiming for rarer things, a lot of promotional stuff. We were in the process of re-cataloging our maps and we were halfway there. Pokemon, so we haven’t finished cataloging the entire range yet. Initially it was targeting maps that we haven’t finished cataloging yet.”

Read more: 12 Most Valuable Pokemon Cards Ever

But over time, Christou became less careful and started stealing cards for which they had specific entries. “What was missing was sold out,” Duke said. Kotaku. “Evolution disappeared, they are almost four-digit.

Once the thefts were noticed, Duke says he was able to pinpoint the missing items and began looking for the missing items on eBay. “I came across this eBay store,” he told us, “and I was looking for what the person had to sell and I was looking for things [missing from] our inventory, and I found inconsistency after inconsistency.” Duke continued to find out which areas of the warehouse had the most burglaries and set up secret cameras. “In less than twelve hours, I caught a man stealing.”

A photo of my son's giant pile of Pokémon cards, or as I like to think of them, my empty wallet.

A photo: Kotaku

Court case originally reported daily star, it was revealed that Christou’s eBay store sold one booster box for £520 ($630), as well as a collection of 22 rare holograms for £450 ($545). One first edition of Lugia cost $1,200.

All the cards were kept in the house of Mother Christou, where Christou’s brother also lived, Pokemon Youtuber. According to Starthere were over half a million Pokemon cards in the house. Duke said the police told him, “There were cards everywhere, all over the house. In the living room, in the kitchen, everywhere. This complicated the case because it was difficult for the police to know which cards were stolen and which belonged to his brother. So the police focused on Christou’s bedroom and the maps they found there.

After pleading guilty, 28-year-old Christou was given a 16-month suspended sentence, meaning he is spared jail time on the condition that he repay £6,000 ($7,270) within 28 days of his sentencing and also work 175 hours. . unpaid work and did not reoffend for the next two years. He also made some effort to return cards he had not yet sold, including the rarest stolen item, one of 32 cards awarded to winners during the World Championship. Pokemon the game. This apparently prompted the judge not to sentence him to immediate jail time. It’s something Duke says he’s happy with. “It was a huge weight off my shoulders,” he told us. “I received some compensation for the damages. I managed to get back a bunch of cards. And while it’s far from perfect, it’s probably the best I could hope for.”

This does not mean that Duke even came out. When I asked how much he thought he had lost, he replied: “25, maybe £30,000”. ($36,353). But the emotional loss seems to have affected the business owner the most. “I’m better now,” he said. Kotaku. “For a few weeks after that, it had a very strong effect on me. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t sleep well, I had trust issues. Then I thought I got better, but I realized that I was suffering from other things as well. Lately I’ve been using the Apple Health app on my phone much later and starting to see all the trends. “Ah, that’s when it started happening. And that’s when this is started happening. To be honest, it was a real fight.”

With the court case closed and the warehouse now has CCTV cameras and other measures in place to prevent something like this from happening again, Michael Duke says he’s hoping to find some kind of closure.

Given Magic Madhouse is an officially recommended reseller PokemonI thought it might be a good idea to also ask Duke if he’s thinking about the recent crazy prices for Pokemon cards will continue. “I think it’s all sorted out now,” he explains. “The recent craze died down earlier this year. Now there is a noticeable discrepancy with some people selling the card for £150, others selling it for £500. It’s harder to rate cards, but I think you’ll find the same in many collectible markets.”

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