Police in Alberta, Canada, have arrested Michael Thomas Coates, a man charged with stealing a collection of Magic: The Gathering cards with an estimated value of $10,000. The theft occurred on January 22, at a gaming event hosted by Kapow Ltd. Comics, a comic book shop in Lethbridge, Alberta. According to GlobalNews.ca, Coates tried to sell the collection the following day at Showcase Comics, Lethbridge’s other comic book store.
Speaking with GlobalNews.ca, Bobby Hoff, the owner of Showcase Comics, said, “I didn’t know him very well and he a had a big collection. In the Magic world you know who has the big collections and that was one of the things that set me off.” Hoff contacted the local police immediately. Coates fled Showcase Comics before the arrival of the police, but has since been apprehended. CTV states that Coates is facing charges of ‘theft over $5,000’ and ‘possession of stolen property for the purpose of trafficking’. Though police have recovered 35 of the stolen cards, around 400 remain unaccounted for. Police are asking anyone who has traded or purchased cards from Coates to contact them at 403-328-4444.
In related news, last month two men broke into Pat’s Games, a gaming store located in Austin, Texas, and stole an estimated $75,000 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards. The Statesman reports that Austin’s police department has assigned a detective who plays Magic to the case. “He understands the value, and he understands what the cards look like,” storeowner Pat Johnson told the Austin news site. “I can’t tell you how helpful that is.”