In many theft reports of stolen Magic: The Gathering cards, the perpetrator usually knows something about the material they’ve stolen. However, in this instance, the chance theft of over $10,000 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards was part of a seemingly routine burglary that ended up with the thief making the biggest possible mistake he could have made – not knowing the comradery between MTG players and local stores!
The man charged with the theft tried to sell the cards to the owner of a local game store in Tucson, Arizona. The owner knew to call the police immediately as the cards had been reported stolen by Shannon Rezendes.
She and her roommate noticed that they had been the victims of a burglary after returning home last week and they contacted the local police straight away. Among the stolen items were some expensive game consoles and a backpack from their other roommate’s bedroom.
Rezendes, aware of her roommate’s hobby, knew that the backpack contained an extremely valuable collection of cards. She contacted the police and several local game stores in the hope of recovering a lifetime’s collection of cards. Rezendes was heartbroken for her roommate at having the collection stolen from their home.
Little did she know that the cards would later turn up at the same store where her roommate worked, Amazing Discoveries in Tucson, Arizona.
The store owner, Dustin Ochoa, received an initial call from the suspect looking for a place to sell the cards. Knowing of the theft and wanting to get a better look at the cards he persuaded the thief to visit the store in order to clarify that the cards did indeed belong to his employee.
Ochoa knew exactly what cards to look for when perusing the collection. An offer was made, but Ochoa had asked the man to return later as it was a very pricey collection. He used the time to contact the police who were lying in wait when the thief returned to collect his money.
The police approached the man outside of the store and connected him to the burglary after investigating the situation.
The rightful owner of the cards had considered giving up on her life-long hobby after the theft and had never anticipated seeing the cards ever again. However, as in many cases of large Magic: The Gathering related thefts, the community came together to help reunite the owner and their cards.
Ochoa said, “The real big thing that I want to take away from this is how tight-knit and awesome the community is in Tucson and how they really look out for each other.”
Social media posts and calls between local stores helped to coordinate information, ensuring that no matter where the suspected thief tried to sell the cards, there was no way they weren’t going to be recovered. Proving once again that Magic: The Gathering isn’t just about cards – it’s about community, too!
Have you ever been the victim of a trading card game related theft?