By: Jovillene Datu
In early February a burglar broke into a collectibles shop in Forest Lake Minnesota, and stole about $250,000 worth of Pokemon cards. The store, Punch-Out Gaming, is co-owned by brothers Mike and Eric Johnson.
The intruder broke into a neighboring vacant store by breaking the glass windows. Surveillance footage of the break-in shows the masked criminal entering the store’s storage room and taking an unspecified amount of money from the cash register. Among the stolen items are 72 evolving skies booster boxes worth about $140 each. He left behind a Wells Fargo bank bag containing $15,000 in cash as well as a new Xbox one console.
Eric found out about the break-in at 9:30 am, Thursday, as he opened the store for business. Based on the timestamp of the footage, the burglary occurred at 1:39 am that same day.
Eric believes that “The burglar did not act alone due to the amount of stolen items.” He also thinks that the perpetrators are familiar with the store considering they knew how to get into the areas where the Pokemon merchandise was stored. The owners said that even though the store is insured, they will still incur a significant amount of loss from the burglary due to the rarity of the stolen items.
Eric also said that he “realized how much money, product and time we put into it, and [he] just started crying.” Both Mike and Eric will not be able to recover any of the products due to not having any distributors. “So, even with the insurance money, that doesn’t do us any good.”
The online Pokemon community is helping the store by monitoring any online listings that might be selling the stolen cards.