Pokémon Thief Catches Them All In $250K Merchandise Heist
When it comes to Pokémon, the catchphrase is, "Gotta Catch 'Em All." This man in Minnesota must have thought it was "Gotta Steal 'Em All," because that's exactly what he did...
In Forest Lake, Minnesota, a family-owned business that's been open for eight years called Punch-Out Gaming, was robbed of all its popular Pokémon merch. The Store owner says the thief stole $250k worth of Pokémon cards.
"If it says Pokémon on it, it sells... Pokémon is literally the hottest thing right now," said Eric Johnson, who owns the store with his twin brother.
Early Thursday morning, a man was caught on surveillance camera stealing Pokémon cards and games off the shelves. The thief broke into a vacant store next door and busted through the shared wall into the room of stored Pokémon merch.
"They broke through the walls, crawled through, and took all the sealed product out of there," said Johnson.
Within two hours, the thief emptied out two entire storage rooms full of Pokémon products, leaving only plush toys on the ground. The doors of the store were never opened, as that would have tripped the alarm system.
After the robbery, Johnson conducted an inventory check and estimated that the thief (or thieves) got away with $250,000 worth of merchandise.
"He must have had help because there were a lot of boxes," said Johnson.
"I realized how much money, product, and time we put into it, and I just started crying...I can't recover this product because our distributors don't have any. So, even with the insurance money, that doesn't do us any good," said Johnson.
Forest Lake Police are investigating the burglary. The man caught on surveillance is being called a "person of interest" that detectives want to talk to.
Johnson tells FOX 9 he is "very thankful for the entire online Pokémon community, who has embraced the store in the wake of the theft, keeping a close eye on any online listings that might be selling the stolen goods."
If you have information on the crime, tipsters can call Forest Lake Police at 651-439-9381.
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