Pat’s Games, an Austin, Texas shop specializing in Magic: The Gathering and run by Pat Johnson, was hit hard by two thieves a few days ago, who made off with $75,000 worth of Magic cards. The theft occurred around 1 AM on Sunday morning, January 24, and has not only had a substantial impact on the store finance- and stock-wise, but on Austin’s tight-knit Magic community as well.
The duo, caught on security cameras, ripped the door off of the cottage-castle-style store with a water meter turn-off key. They went straight to the high-dollar card cases in the store, grabbed all three, and ran off. Because at least one of the thieves knew exactly where to head, the store owner is convinced that the thieves have been in the store before and that one or both are avid Magic players. In fact, they were so well versed in Magic cards and the store layout, the robbery only took 20 seconds before the duo fled the scene with somewhere between 200 and 300 cards, several of which are currently valued at over $5,000 per piece. Conversely, it took over 6 minutes for the duo to break into the store.
Because of the tool used to break into the store, Johnson believes that one of the culprits may work for the city; however, this is just a theory at the moment and not one publicly supported by the police department. On the security footage, one suspect wore a hoodie, gloves, and a mask over his face, while the second was dressed in camouflage and wearing eyeglasses and a hat.
In addition to working with the Austin police department, Pat’s Games is using social media to its advantage, plastering Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter with the security camera footage and stills that best show the robbers. On their end, the Austin police department has assigned a detective to the case who also plays the card game, hoping to utilize community connections and game background information to track down the criminals and recover the stolen products as quickly as possible. The lead detective typically handles residential robberies, not commercial. But, according to the owner of the store, she’s extremely happy with the choice.
Johnson notes that there are some leads in the case, which is why she’s holding off on filing an insurance claim. Johnson posted lists on Facebook noting several of the cards stolen, organizing them by case. Amongst the lists include Revised Underground Sea, Chains of Mephistopheles, Modern Masters Tarmogoyf, and several more. Note: all of the stolen cards are not listed on the store’s Facebook page for security purposes, but the cards stolen are worth hundreds a piece at minimum.
Hopefully, the cards will be recovered and the thieves apprehended. As of today, Pat’s Games made a Facebook post asking anyone with information to contact the Austin Police Department’s Detective Wood with leads. Austin residents can dial 311, while those outside of the city can call (512)-974-2000 with any information.
Stay tuned for updates!