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At about 12:20 a.m. on Friday, October 27th, two unidentified suspects backed a red Ford pickup truck through the side door of Gabi’s Olympic Cards and Comics in Lacey, Washington. With the door completely removed from the hinges, the two thieves entered the store and stole approximately $10,000 dollars worth of merchandise, including eight to ten cases (containing six booster boxes each) of Pokémon cards, according to owner Gabi Shepard. Shepard, who helped construct the store, says she remembers putting up the pillar that the pickup truck destroyed. “I know the building is just a thing, but it's still a thing that, you know, has been a part of my life for almost 20 years.” said Shepard.
Derrick Guerrero, 33, has been charged with manslaughter after shooting and killing a currently unnamed shoplifter who was in the process of stealing several Pokémon Trading Card Game boxes from the GameStop where Guerrero worked. The incident occurred the night of Tuesday, October 17th at the GameStop located in Pembroke Lakes Mall, in Pembroke Pines, a suburb of Miami, Florida. Guerrero is currently being held at Broward County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
“I don’t want to be his help,” said former Los Angeles Police Officer Louis Lozano in recently released dashcam footage, in regards to a request for backup from a Los Angeles Police Department captain. The captain was responding to a robbery inside the Crenshaw Mall which took place on April 15th, 2017, the department reports, during which time Lozano and fellow former Officer Eric Mitchell were parked in their squad car less than 200 yards away, playing Pokémon GO. Court documents reveal that the officers then drove away from the scene of the robbery in pursuit of Snorlax and Togetic.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) reported over the weekend that they have seized 1,465 products from a single traveler arriving from Thailand to the Perth International Airport, over concerns the products breach intellectual property rights laws. ABF officers conducted a baggage search after the traveler declared they were carrying commercial products. The holders of the intellectual property rights (namely, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company International) are being consulted by the ABF to investigate the items’ authenticity, and as of yet, no charges have been filed.
Decks & Dice Tournament Center in Polk County, Florida was broken into after closing on Wednesday, August 23rd, by one or more offenders that have yet to be found. Co-owner Chad Rippey says the landlord of the building alerted him of the theft on Thursday morning, after the front door was discovered smashed in. Rippey estimates the retail value of stolen items was $5,500, and included Pokémon Crown Zenith premium collections, Obsidian Flames booster boxes, and more.
Calhoun County Correctional Officer Josh Hardy was arrested this last Saturday, August 12th, after stealing approximately $200 USD worth of Pokémon cards from a local Walmart. Police apprehended Hardy at a nearby restaurant after he fled from the Walmart's loss prevention team on foot and placed him in Oxford City Jail. The local sheriff’s office reports that Hardy was seen with his uniform shirt inside out and badge still visible, opening several packs in the store and pocketing individual cards after leaving his shift at the Calhoun County Jail.
Italian media has reported that police from the Italian city of Milan have shut down a long-running scam on eBay involving fraudulent sales of Pokémon cards, managing to seize €439,000 of ill-gotten profits from the group of four fraudsters behind the operation.
In the latest case of Pokémon fans being targeted by NFT related scams, security analysts at the AhnLab Security Emergency response Center (ASEC) have detailed a sophisticated campaign targeting Pokémon fans with malware via websites claiming to distribute new Pokémon Trading Card Game software that integrated the purchase and collections of Pokémon Card NFTs. ASEC analysts identified at least 2 websites distributing this malware since at least December 2022.
The Federal Court of Australia is currently playing host to a different kind of Pokémon battle, with The Pokémon Company International seeking injunctions under s232 and s234 of the Australian Consumer Law against an Australian crypto company calling itself Pokémon Pty Ltd and operating as Kotiota Studios, for misrepresentation and misuse of Pokémon Trademarks in the advertising and creation of PokéWorld, an NFT game on the Ethereum blockchain using Pokémon characters . Kotiota Studios had claimed to be selling their first round of NFTs in November 2022, ahead of a planned release of the full game in January 23rd, 2023.
A stolen collection of Pokémon cards is allegedly being traded on markets in France, according to information released by Dutch police on the television program Opsporing Gezocht earlier this week. Dutch police have asked for public assistance in reporting possible sales of the stolen cards. According to French Pokémon fans who have been in contact with the Dutch police, the cards were apparently sold to buyers in Paris at the beginning of this year, and have continued to circulate on French markets since then.
Over the past few months, it's been depressing just how frequently we've covered stories of Pokémon Card heists. What sets apart this week's case, from Ikebukuro in Tokyo's Toshima ward, is the extreme lengths to which the alledged criminal went to get their hands on these valuable cardboard rectangles. Nakanishi Kensuke, a resident of Toshima ward, was arrested on Monday March 29th after investigators from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police managed to identify him from security camera footage that happened to catch him in the act of walking down the side of a building.
In a statement provided to multiple media organisations, McDonalds responded to the ongoing shortages of Pokémon 25th Anniversary Happy Meal Toys and Cards, and confirmed they are working with supply chain partners to restock these items. Their official statement stopped short however of directly acknowledging the ongoing flagrant scalping of these product on online auction sites such as eBay.
The real test for anyone wanting to catch these Pokémon cards and toys won't just be how far and wide you're willing to travel across the land. In a sad addition to the list of why we can't have nice things, the rollout of these Happy Meals has been marred by reports of scalpers and overzealous adult collectors snapping up all available stock.
According to several reports in the Japanese media, Kawamatsu Kazuki, a 23 year-old unemployed Japanese man from the Minami ward of Nagoya, was recently arrested under Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Act for alledgedly generating and selling hacked Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield, including both shiny Pokémon and Pokémon intended for competitive play. Under Japanese law, it is an offense to offer services to bypass technical limitation measures in software, including modifying the save data of video games.