Japanese man accused of stealing $15,000 worth of Pokémon cards

Japanese man accused of stealing $15,000 worth of Pokémon cardsJapanese man accused of stealing $15,000 worth of Pokémon cards
カードショップmero (left, right)
A 25-year-old man was arrested in Tokyo after allegedly swiping Pokémon trading cards worth thousands of dollars.
What happened: Yūki Murakami, a company worker from the Japanese capital’s Ōta ward, entered the Card Shop Mero store in Fujiyoshida City in Yamanashi Prefecture at around 1 a.m. on May 8, according to reports. He allegedly stole a total of 74 Pokémon cards, which collectively amounted to 2.2 million yen (approximately $15,751), as well as $140 in cash.
The aftermath: The store posted an image of emptied shelves later that morning on Twitter. According to the business, the display was smashed and the back area was a mess. Police reviewed security footage and zeroed in on Murakami as a suspect.
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Why he did it: Murakami reportedly confessed to the crime, saying he intended to sell the cards. He also claimed responsibility for similar burglaries in other stores. Authorities have recovered more Pokémon cards from his home and are now trying to establish a link between him and other similar reported incidents, such as one at a store in Arao, Kumamoto prefecture, that resulted in a loss of 6.5 million yen (approximately $46,537).
The bigger picture: Pokémon trading cards can get very expensive, especially those that happen to be rare. To date, the most valuable appears to be the Pikachu Illustrator card, which was released in 1998 and recently sold at auction for a whopping $6 million. For this reason, such cards are often targeted by robbers, who then try to resell them. Last year, a man dubbed the “Pokémon Prowler” was charged for stealing $12,000 worth of cards in Missouri.
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