A $70,000 Pokemon card thief kidnapped them at Mom's house

A $70,000 Pokemon card thief kidnapped them at Mom's house ...

Last week, a warehouse worker for one of the UK's largest collectable card-selling companies was found guilty of taking over $70,000 in Pokemon cards and then hiding them away at his mother's house.

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Pokemon cards have become a hot commodity in the last few years, with specific cards fetching incredible prices at auction. Even recent out-of-print card packs can fetch big quantities, leading to a growing number of stories about the valuable cardboard being stolen. The Pokemon Company has attempted to combat this by printing billions more cards, but they seem to remain a tempting target for thieves.

Kyriacos Christou worked in the warehouse for Magic Madhouse Ltd, an online store for CCG and tabletop gaming based in Enfield, North London, where he stole an increasing number of Pokemon cards over a period of months, becoming ever more ruthless in his thefts, according to Magic Madhouses' owner Michael Duke.

Duke explained that if he was isolated he would use it as an opportunity to grab things. These included individual cards, booster packs, and booster boxes, all of which were worth anywhere from $100 to $1,000. He aimed at the higher rarity stuff, and we were halfway through Pokemon, so we hadnt quite completed cataloguing the entire collection.

Read More: The Top 12 Most Valuable Pokemon Cards in History

Christou became less cautious as time went on, and started stealing cards for which they had specific records. The stuff that was going missing was stuff that was out of print, according to Duke to Kotaku. Evolutions were almost four-digits a box.

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Duke claims that once the thefts were discovered, he was able to pinpoint specific items that were going missing, and he began searching on eBay for them. I began researching what the person had up for sale, and I discovered discrepancy after discrepancy.

The Daily Star first reported on the court case that a Christous eBay store had sold one booster box for 520 ($630), as well as a collection of 22 rare holos for 450 ($545). A single first-edition Lugia was valued at $1,200.

All of the cards were being kept in Christous' mother's house, which was also shared by his brother, a Pokemon YouTuber. According to the Star, there were over half a million Pokemon cards in the house. In the living room, kitchen, everywhere. This complicated things, because it made it difficult for the cops to know which cards were stolen and which were owned by his brother.

Christou, 28, was sentenced to a 16-month suspended term on the condition that he repays 6,000 ($7,270) within 28 days of his sentence, completes 175 hours of unpaid work, and returns the stolen cards for the next two years. This, according to Duke, was a massive relief for those who lost. I've been paid some compensation for losses.

Duke came out even. When I asked him how much money he believes he lost, he replied, 25, 30, 30, and 30,500 dollars. ($36,353). It seems to be the emotional toll that has wreaks havoc on the business owner. Im doing better now, he told Kotaku. Then I realized I was suffering from other problems as well. Ive begun using the Apple Health app on my phone more recently.

Michael Duke says he expects to find some closure now that the court case is over and the warehouse has security cameras and other safeguards in place to prevent something similar happening again.

I thought it would be a good idea to include Magic Madhouse as a Pokemon official reseller. He replies that the recent crazy prices for Pokemon cards have dissipated. At the start of this year, some people sold a card for 150, others sold it for 500.