$70,000 Pokémon Card Thief Hid Them At Mother's Home

A warehouse employee for one of many UK’s largest collectable card-selling corporations was discovered responsible final week of stealing over $70,000 of Pokémon playing cards, after which hiding them in…his mother’s home.



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Over the previous few years, Pokémon playing cards have turn out to be a scorching commodity, with particular playing cards fetching extraordinary costs at public sale. Even just lately out-of-print card packs can fetch large numbers, and this has led to an growing variety of tales about theft of the precious cardboard. The Pokémon Firm has tried to deal with this by printing billions extra playing cards, however it appears they continue to be a powerful temptation to thieves.

Kyriacos Christou labored within the warehouse for Magic Madhouse Ltd, a web-based retailer for CCG and tabletop gaming, primarily based in Enfield, North London. Over a sequence of months, he stole an growing variety of Pokémon playing cards, changing into ever extra brazen in his thefts, Magic Madhouse’s proprietor Michael Duke informed Kotaku.


“He would take playing cards out of containers, and put them in his pocket, Duke defined. “We didn’t have any CCTV within the premises on the time, so if he was remoted he was utilizing it as a possibility to seize issues.” This included particular person playing cards, booster packs, and booster containers, the latter value something from $100 to $1,000. “He aimed on the larger rarity stuff, a number of promotional stuff. We have been within the means of re-cataloguing our playing cards, and we have been midway by way of Pokémon, so we hadn’t fairly completed cataloguing the entire vary. Initially, he was aiming at playing cards we hadn’t completed cataloguing.”

Learn Extra: The High 12 Most Priceless Pokémon Playing cards In Historical past

However as time went on, Christou grew to become much less cautious, and beginning stealing playing cards for which that they had particular information. “The stuff that was going lacking was stuff that was out of print,” Duke detailed to Kotaku. “Evolutions was going lacking, they’re nearly four-digits a field.”

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As soon as the thefts have been getting seen, Duke says he was capable of pinpoint particular issues that have been going lacking, and began wanting on eBay for the lacking objects. “I stumbled throughout this eBay retailer,” he informed us, “and searching what the particular person had up on the market, and in search of issues [missing from] our stock, and I discovered discrepancy after discrepancy.” Duke went on to work out which areas of the warehouse have been seeing the very best quantity of theft, and arrange secret cameras. “Lower than twelve hours later, I caught the particular person stealing.”


The courtroom case, reported initially by The Each day Star, revealed that Christou’s eBay retailer had offered one booster field for £520 ($630), in addition to a group of twenty-two uncommon holos for £450 ($545). A single first-edition Lugia went for $1,200.

All of the playing cards have been being saved in Christou’s mom’s home, which was additionally shared by Christou’s brother, a Pokémon YouTuber. Based on the Star, there have been over half one million Pokémon playing cards in the home. Duke stated the police informed him, “There have been playing cards in every single place, all around the home. In the lounge, kitchen, in every single place.” This sophisticated issues, as a result of it made it arduous for the police to know which playing cards have been stolen, and which belonged to his brother. So the police targeted on Christou’s bed room and the playing cards discovered there.


After pleading responsible, 28-year-old Christou was given a 16-month suspended sentence, which means he’s spared jail time on the situation that he re-pays £6,000 ($7,270) inside 28 days of the sentencing, in addition to finishing 175 hours of unpaid work, and doesn’t reoffend for the subsequent two years. He additionally went to some effort to return playing cards he hadn’t but offered, together with the rarest stolen merchandise, considered one of 32 playing cards given to winners throughout a World Championship Pokemon recreation. This, apparently, swayed the decide away from giving him speedy jail time. That is one thing Duke says he’s proud of. “It was an enormous weight off my shoulders,” he informed us. “I’ve been rewarded some compensation for losses. I’ve managed to safe a bunch of playing cards again. And whereas not being anyplace close to good, it’s in all probability one of the best I may have hoped for.”

This doesn’t imply Duke got here out even. Once I requested how a lot he thinks he misplaced, he replied, “25, perhaps £30,000.” ($36,353). However it appears to be the emotional toll that has worse affected the enterprise proprietor. “I’m doing higher now,” he informed Kotaku. “For a number of weeks after, it affected me fairly badly. I wasn’t capable of focus, I wasn’t capable of sleep correctly, I had unhealthy belief points. Then I assumed I received higher, however I noticed I used to be affected by different issues as nicely. I’ve been utilizing the Apple Well being app on my cellphone much more just lately, and I can begin to see all of the developments. ‘Ah, that’s when this began occurring. And that’s when this began occurring.’ It’s actually been an actual wrestle.”


With the courtroom case over, and now the warehouse has safety cameras and different measures in place to stop one thing related occurring once more, Michael Duke says he hopes to search out some closure.

Given Magic Madhouse is an formally really helpful reseller by Pokémon, I figured it could be a good suggestion to additionally ask Duke if he thought the current loopy costs for Pokémon playing cards would proceed. “I believe it’s settled down now,” he explains. “The current craze died off in the beginning of this 12 months. Now there’s exceptional disparity, some individuals promoting a card for £150, others promoting it for £500. It’s more durable to cost playing cards, however I believe you discover the identical in a number of collectable markets.”



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