Pokémon Cards
Image: Nintendo Life

A number of burglaries at trading card stores have been reported in Tokyo, Japan, as a result of the rising popularity and value of Pokémon cards. Since last summer, Japan Times reports that damages from these burglaries are estimated to be around tens of millions of yen.

According to an investigative source, there have been unprecedented five cases where the main target has been trading cards — and the Pokémon Trading Card Game is usually involved. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has reported on one specific case, where 60 cards — worth a staggering ¥8.5 million — were stolen from a store in Machida, a city located in the western part of Tokyo.

The Pokémon Trading Card Game market has been rapidly growing, and in 2021, the popular game expanded for the fourth straight year (valued at ¥178.2 billion, says the Japan Toy Association). The value of many rare cards increased during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, it's seen many people rush to try and get their hands on the rarest cards — either for their own collection or to sell. We've reported on a number of Pokémon card-related incidents over the past few years in particular — some involving big-name YouTubers, and others just members of the public.

Another case involves a 25-year-old man from Sapporo who managed to 'buy' 1,000 Pokémon using someone else's credit card details online. The man later sold the cards to another card store. Many of the affected stores commented on the game's growing popularity, while sources told Japan Times that it's hard to trace the cards because "they are not uniquely numbered...".

Let's hope the TMP can get these incidents resolved, soon.

[source japantimes.co.jp]