Two people broke into a Central Austin trading card store Sunday and stole what store owner Pat Johnson estimates was about $75,000 in cards.
Pat’s Games on Hancock Drive specializes in selling trading cards for the game Magic the Gathering. An eBay search shows that many rare Magic cards regularly sell for thousands of dollars each.
Austin police have assigned the case to a detective who plays Magic the Gathering, Johnson said.
“He understands the value, and he understands what the cards look like,” she said. “I can’t tell you how helpful that is.”
On Sunday around 1 a.m., the two men broke into the building, security footage shows. Within a minute, the men had taken three display cases filled with the store’s most valuable cards and left. In total, they stole about 300 cards.
“They knew exactly what they were looking for,” said Jim Hughes, the store’s business operations manager.
They have some leads on the case, Johnson said, but she declined to elaborate so as not to interfere with the investigation.
“I’m really hoping we won’t have to file a claim,” she said. “We’re hoping to find them.”
Pat’s Games is open, and the shop will host its regularly scheduled tournament on Tuesday, Johnson said.
It’s not uncommon for Magic cards to be stolen, Johnson said. Employees at Pat’s Games ask for customers’ driver’s license info when they sell cards, because sometimes people within the Magic the Gathering community sell stolen cards.
Valuing the cards can be difficult, Johnson said. Recently, one Magic card went up in value 400 percent in one day because it was used to win a big tournament.