Pokemon Card Thief Hid $70,000 In Cards At His Mom's House
You shouldn't try to steal 'em all.
Pokemon cards have become a hot commodity over the years. They especially blew up in value over the course of the pandemic. Everyone wants to collect 'em all, causing some cards to go for thousands of dollars. As such, it may make sense why one person was caught stealing up to $70,000 worth of the collectibles and then stashing them away ... at his mom's house?
He Got Sloppy
Kyriacos Christou worked in a warehouse for Magic Madhouse Ltd, which is an online store for various gaming collectibles. It's based out of North London, and over the course of several months, he stole an increasing number of Pokemon cards. Each time, he became more brazen in his thefts, according to the warehouse's owner, Michael Duke.
"He would take cards out of boxes, and put them in his pocket," Duke elaborated. "We didn’t have any CCTV in the premises at the time, so if he was isolated he was using it as an opportunity to grab things." He stole everything from booster boxes to individual cards, aiming at the rarer stuff.
Initially, he appeared to target items that weren't catalogued yet. His downfall ultimately came from targeting stuff that was already in the company's records, so they knew when it went missing.
So how exactly did Duke catch the culprit? eBay.
Duke went on to explain how he could tell which area of the warehouse stuff was going missing from. He correlated this to items that were going up for sale on eBay that was an exact match of what had gone missing. As a result, he set up security cameras around an area in the warehouse, and it wasn't long until he found his own personal Team Rocket.
Authorities discovered the culprit was keeping the cards at his mother's house. And when the cops went in, there were cards everywhere. The police apparently told Duke, "There were cards everywhere, all over the house. In the living room, kitchen, everywhere."
However, not everything was stolen. Christou's brother, who just so happens to be a Pokemon YouTuber, was also residing there, so some of the cards were his.
Christou pled guilty and was given a 16-month suspended sentence. That means he's spared from jail time on the condition that he re-pays what he owes, which apparently comes out to roughly £6,000 within 28 days of the sentencing. He also has to complete 175 hours of unpaid work, and he can't reoffend over the next two years.
Now, the warehouse has cameras all over to prevent such a thing from happening again.
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