A 23-year-old man was detained by police after stealing Pokemon Trading Card Game booster packs from a Florida Walmart, according to local outlet WLFA News.
Since 2020, the Pokemon TCG has seen an explosion in popularity in value. Retail stores across the world are littered with empty shelves as the Nintendo collectibles are snatched up as soon they are put up for sale.
One collector’s attempt to score Pokemon cards took things too far after they stole handfuls of packs from a Florida Walmart according to a report from WLFA News. The suspect was apprehended by police after trying to steal the Nintendo collectibles multiple times.
Florida man arrested for stealing Pokemon cards from Walmart
Eric Jermone Drake was arrested in Florida on December 29, 2021, after stealing over $600 worth of Pokemon cards from a local Walmart in Pinellas County.
In an affidavit by Largo Police, the department said that they had stolen over $354 worth of TCG booster packs off the shelf. The suspect then opened them in the retailer’s bathroom before walking out with the items in his pocket.
Drake was eventually arrested after going back to the same store a second time and taking $292 worth of Pokemon cards. However this time, the Florida resident was confronted by a Walmart employee and handed over to the police.
This isn’t the first time that Pokemon cards’ explosion in demand has led to criminals taking extreme actions to get their hands on them. In October 2021, a Georgia man was accused by US feds of stealing $57,000 in Economic Disaster relief funds to pay for the Nintendo items.
While the TCG packs are sold at a low price, rare cards can sell for thousands of dollars in online auctions. At the time of writing, the Largo Police Department has not given an update on Drake’s sentencing.