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ST. LOUIS – Police in Missouri and Illinois are investigating recent burglaries at gaming stores. Collectible cards, such as Pokemon and Magic cards have been stolen.  

Card values have risen as interest in collecting complete sets has grown.  

The thefts come just as some businesses are starting to bounce back from the pandemic.  

“The last couple of months is the first time people have been sitting at tables and playing the games they love again,” said Vince Krekeler, owner of Yeti Gaming in Crestwood.  

He said someone broke through a glass door and then hit display cases. It’s the first time he’s been hit by the crime in the 11 years he has been in business.  

The owner shared surveillance video on the company’s Facebook page and said it appears one person was responsible for the theft late Sunday night at his store on Watson Road.  

“We really work hard to make a nice business and have a nice selection of products for customers,” said Krekeler.  

He said collectors from different parts of the world, including Mexico and the Netherlands, have contacted him to offer support.  

“We’re not going to let it ruin our business,” Krekeler said. “We’re just not.” 

He suspects the thief captured in surveillance images inside his store is the same person responsible for a burglary at Realms of Gaming located in Troy, Illinois.   

“They left the cash registers and left a lot of the product on the wall,” said store owner Sam Bozarth. “They were coming for the Magic cards, it seems.” 

Bozarth said he has also received messages of support from other collectors.  

“Everyone showing their love and support is like, that’s everything to me,” he said. “That’s kind of what the store is about, honestly.”  

Martin Casas is the owner of Apotheosis Comics and Lounge in south St. Louis. His store has not been hit but he sympathizes with the other owners. 

“Many of these shops are scraping by, and these items that are getting stolen are not cheap,” he said. 

Customers can buy a pack of Pokemon cards for $3.99 at his store. Casas said some individual cards are worth more than that on the open market.  

“If you put that on eBay and somebody starts bidding on it, it suddenly becomes a $100 dollar card.” 

Casas said he has elevated his security awareness and has cameras, motion sensors, and sound sensors in place.  

St. Louis County Police are investigating a recent burglary at the Game Nite store located on Watson Rd.   The glass door to the store was shattered and several glass display cases were broken.   

St. Peters Police recently arrested a suspect accused of a burglary at the Collector Store, LLC. Authorities say that the individual has been charged with burglary, stealing, and property damage, and has remained jailed since the Oct. 3rd crime.