- Florida man strikes again, this time stealing heaps of Pokémon trading cards
- The man was arrested on Wednesday and escorted to the Largo Police Department
- He admits stealing cards twice, estimated to cost over $600
A man from Florida has been arrested for stealing hundreds of Pokémon cards from a local Walmart.
Pokémon TCG’s Popularity Drives People to Commit Crime
Trading Card Games, or just TCGs, have been rising in popularity ever since Magic: The Gathering made its debut almost three decades ago on August 5, 1993. One could argue that the foundation for this hobby was set even further back in time, with the collectible baseball cards from the 1920s and 30s.
Decades of successful market practices have proven that the model is quite popular with consumers, so naturally, Nintendo also wants a piece of the action. Although Pokémon collecting cards have existed since the time of the first games, the TCG had a massive burst in popularity in recent years. The shelves of retail stores across the US are constantly being emptied of their rare collectibles as players are trying to get their hands on limited-edition cards.
People could sometimes spend thousands of dollars building their collections. However, one man from Florida took things too far. According to the local news outlet WLFA News, the man stole packs of the Pokémon TCG from a local Walmart, which lead to him being arrested.
The Crime Unfolds
The Clearwater man was apprehended on Tuesday, January 4. The 23-year-old’s name is Eric Jermone Drake, and he was charged with petit theft. According to the local police, the suspect walked into a Walmart on Roosevelt Boulevard in Pinellas County where he stole a bounty of 68 packs of Pokémon cards.
According to the report, Drake took the pack of cards to the bathroom, where he removed them from their packs, placed them in his pockets, and left the store. The value of the stolen goods was estimated at $354.
Five days later, Drake went into the same store again where he tried to do the same thing. An affidavit states that this time the suspect took packs valued at $292, before doing the same thing to them in the bathroom. At this point, he was apprehended by police and escorted to the Largo Police Department. Police said Drake admitted to stealing cards on both occasions, which were worth a total of $647.14.
It is unknown if the man intended to use the cards for his personal entertainment, or if he was planning to sell them off. Sometimes rare Pokémon cards can cost tens of thousands of dollars, although this was not one of those cases.