Pokémon card thieves target Tokyo stores in series of burglaries

It’s estimated around 8.5million yen’s worth were stolen in a robbery in December

Pokémon cards have been stolen in a series of burglaries at trading card shops across Tokyo, Japan.

As reported by the Japan Times, several stores in the Akihabara district were targeted between November and December last year.

According to Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department, a store in Machida had 60 Pokémon and other collectible cards worth 8.5million yen (£52,980) stolen in early December.


It’s said at least five confirmed burglary cases involving trading cards have occurred in Tokyo since summer 2022. In all the cases, thieves broke into the stores late at night after opening hours.

“I’ve never heard of [such cases happening so successively],” a senior investigative source told the outlet.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Credit: Game Freak.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Credit: Game Freak.

As reported by FNN (relayed and translated by journalist Jake Adelstein), over 1.5million yen’s (£9,342) worth of Pokémon cards were stolen in under 60 seconds during a robbery at a store in Ikebukuro on New Year’s Eve.

According to the report, up to 100 Pokémon cards may have been stolen in the robbery. It’s said Tokyo Metropolitan Police are still looking for the culprits, who haven’t yet been identified.

In November last year, a US police officer had his license revoked after he attempted to fraudulently purchase Pokémon cards. The officer, who was charged with one count of an unlawful act involving a theft detection shielding device, admitted to swapping barcodes on Pokémon card boxes in an attempt to purchase them for a lower price.

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