Thieves rob a hobby store in Austin, Texas by ripping the door off of the hinges and making off with over $75,000 worth of rare Magic: The Gathering cards from the store’s collection.
Anyone who has ever played Magic: The Gathering knows that the game can quickly become an expensive hobby. Competitive decks consisting of only the newest cards can sometimes cost between $500-$1000 and if players want to play in tournaments that allow cards back from the game’s early days, that entry point skyrockets up to around $5000. Considering the value of those collections, it’s no surprise that a Magic: The Gathering hobby store would make for a major score if it was ever robbed.
Unfortunately, a gaming store in Austin, Texas just lost over $75,000 in product after thieves made off with a bulk of the store’s MTG collection. Pat’s Games is proud to call itself “the premier store for Magic: The Gathering” in the area, so it is no surprise that the store was fully loaded with staples for all of the game’s formats.
The thieves made off with cards were valued up to $5000, so it sounds like the store likely had at least a few pieces of the coveted Power Nine. The nine most powerful cards from the game’s earliest sets haven’t been reprinted in over twenty years and sell for thousands of dollars a piece. The rare lands from the early sets are also on the no reprint list and sell for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars a piece depending on their condition. It’s a safe bet that these were some of the stolen cards.
The robbery took place at 1am on Sunday morning and the store reports that 200 valuable cards are missing. This suggests that the thieves knew what they were looking for and went straight for the highest value case. The criminals ripped the front door off of its hinges and were in and out of the store in under 30 seconds.
The Austin P.D. is on the job and the unit has even assigned an investigator who is familiar with the game to the case to gain an insider’s perspective. Crime isn’t new to the MTG scene and serious players often guard their backpacks at tournaments by tying them to their own legs while they are playing. This isn’t a fool proof crime deterrent though, as thieves often bring knives and cut the straps off of backpacks to steal them without lifting the chair legs.
One of the perks of the MTG community is that it is a small world. A person can’t exactly steal a collection including alpha and beta cards and then turn around and sell them online without the vigilant Reddit community of players taking notice. The thieves can sit on the collection for a while if they are being careful, but trying to resell them or even take them to a tournament seems like a risky move. Hopefully the police will locate the collection and return it to Pat’s as soon as possible.
Do you own any high value Magic: The Gathering cards? Do you enjoy the card game? Let us know in the comments.