Some people will do anything for a quick buck, and stealing heaps of Pokémon cards is becoming an increasingly common tactic. The latest instance, which took place in San Jose, California last week, is one of the strangest and most audacious yet, seeing the thieves steal not just thousands of Pokémon cards, but a whole-ass cash register and more—all while caught on security camera crawling around on the shop’s floor.
In maybe one of the most ridiculous Pokémon robberies ever captured on camera, the San Jose-based collectible store Tofu’s Trading was broken into at 2 a.m. local time on January 24. According to store owner Amy Simpson, who spoke to ABC7 News not long after the incident, the criminals crawled through the shop’s side door, which Simpson said was blocked by a fridge. Apparently, faulty motion detectors didn’t sound the alarm, allowing the thieves to get in undetected despite being caught by a security camera. The police responded to the crime, but the burglars were in and out in minutes, taking anything they could get their grubby hands on.
So, what did the thieves steal from Tofu’s Trading? Well, according to ABC 7 News and PC Gamer, the three intruders plundered over 35,000 Pokémon cards ranging in value from a dollar to a few hundred dollars, as well as the shop’s entire cash register, some Magic: The Gathering booster packs, a 500-card sleeve valued at between $15 and $30, and more. As Simpson told ABC 7 News, the crime didn’t appear to be a targeted attack because the suspects “didn’t know what to take.”
Simpson posted the security camera footage on Instagram, though she cut it with footage of law enforcement arriving to create some opportunities for humor. At one point, for instance, red Metal Gear Solid-style exclamation points pop up from a thief’s head (along with the signature sound effect), while at another, question marks emerge from another thief who crawls back and forth on the ground, looking confused. She also used the post to warn local businesses and ask folks to keep a lookout for the stolen merchandise.
“We had to have some fun after a long stressful day of cleanup, inventory count, police report, insurance filing, and more,” Simpson wrote. “They can take our products, but they can never take away our love of running a local hobby store in our community.”
The most ironic part about the robbery is the fact that, as Simpson explained in a separate Instagram post, the perps missed a major Pokémon card drop. The Paldean Fates expansion, a set that adds over 240 new cards to the Pokémon TCG, hit retail store shelves on Friday, January 26. The thieves missed this by two days, which is probably better for San Jose Pokémon fans looking to get their hands on a pack.
While the total cost of everything stolen is still being calculated, Ann Ma, Tofu Trading’s stream and operations manager, told ABC 7 News that it’s better to find the humor in the dark rather than sulking about what you can’t change.
“We do have a sense of humor, so it was really silly to see them crawling,” Ma said. “We also like to take a bad time and find a little humor in it. There’s not much we can do right now, so there’s no point in moping over it so might as well make people laugh.”