Man Arrested For Stealing $50,000 Worth Of Pokémon Cards, Police Say

A Washington state man has been busted for stealing $50,000 worth of Pokémon cards from a storage unit, police say. The alleged burglary took place in Kirkland, near the Bellevue city limits, on Jan. 23.

Bellevue Police say the arrest occurred after an officer noticed a white pickup truck was driving with a registration that was expired for three years.

After the officer stopped the pickup truck driven by 52-year-old Kelly Wick, he noticed several cardboard boxes in the truck’s bed were dry despite it raining heavily at the time.

Bellevue Police share photo of white pickup truck used in alleged Pokemon cards burglary
Bellevue Police share photo of white pickup truck used in alleged Pokemon cards burglary. (credit: Bellevue Police Department)

According to police, the officer realized the boxes had address labels from Pokémon and were addressed to a resident who lived in Bellevue.

While Wick was being detained, another officer went to the alleged victim’s apartment. That’s when he found out that his storage locker had been broken into and thousands of dollars of Pokémon cards were stolen. According to KOMO-TV, the resident told police the cards were worth between $30,000 to $50,000.

The resident then accompanied the officer to where Wick was being held following the traffic stop and confirmed the boxes of Pokémon merchandise in the pickup truck’s bed was his from the storage unit.

Bellevue Police say they discovered video evidence of Wick stealing the boxes of cards. Wick was booked into King County Jail and charged with second-degree burglary and criminal trespass.

The theft of thousands of dollars worth of Pokémon and trading cards isn’t just an issue here in the United States — Canadian authorities are dealing with this as well. CBC News reports that $13,000 worth of cards were stolen in the town of Guelph in three separate thefts in September.

Pokemon cards
Pokemon cards. (Photo by Thimo Pedersen on Unsplash)

“This problem is not a new one at all, it’s been going on for quite some time and the ease of being able to make money off it is part of it,” says Jenn Haines, owner of the games and comic book store The Dragon, to CBC News.

Guelph police say it’s difficult to track down the stolen cards.

“Both in thefts of sports cards and non-sports cards and most often its shoplifting type calls, but also we’ve noticed a couple of recent break and enters, where among other things, cards were stolen as well,” Guelph Police spokesperson Scott Tracey tells CBC News.

In November, another massive Pokémon theft hit Guelph, where $6,500 worth of cards were stolen.

“Two of the men attempted to distract staff while the third walked our with the cart, setting off security alarms,” police told the Toronto Star.

One arrest was made in the September thefts.

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