LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY)- A hobby that was popular in the 1990’s is making a comeback. Wax trading card packs are flying off sports memorabilia store shelves, but the allure of what could be inside also makes the stores targets for thieves.
The trading card boom, is part nostalgia, part investment opportunity according to Baseball Card Warehouse owner Jeremy Muir. “There’s definitely an investment side to these items. You can open up a single pack that’s $20-$50-$100 and find a card that’s worth $10,000.”
Lexington Police Detective Anthony Delimpo is also seeing a trend. A more sinister side of the paper’s popularity. “We’ve been seeing this recently. People come into these small businesses and walk around like they have all the time in the world and obviously (this thief) did have enough time. I’m not sure he was sure what he wanted to take.”
In late May, FOX 56 ran a Crime Stoppers report about a similar break-in at Jimmy’s Kentucky Roadshow Shop on Romany Road. Lexington Police believe the two are related.
“Absolutely,” said Det. Delimpo. “Looking at the video it looks like two different people, but we do believe there’s a connection just because it happened so closely together.”
“This was something that was kind of a shock and unfortunately it seems to be a trend inside this industry,” said Muir.
Muir is the most recent card shop owner who had to wake up to a call from his alarm company. The theft at his shop happened May 15. The man seen on his store’s surveillance system, Muir says, is the same man who visited the store three days earlier, browsed for a while before running off with several boxes of trading cards.
The night the intruder came back, Lexington Police say he stole two cars from a nearby auto shop. “An individual broke in and stole some keys out of a lock box,” Delimpo said. “He stole two different vehicles. One he parked up the hill, the other he used to drive right around the corner and parked out here.”
Video showed the man using different objects to try and break the card shop’s door and finally got in using a large piece of firewood.
Total loss to Baseball Card Warehouse? About $15,000 according to Muir.
If you recognize the man in the video call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 859-253-2020. Lexington Police are also asking people to keep an eye on secondary markets for trading the cards like Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp. If you think a seller seems suspicious, take note of the user name or social media handles the seller is using and report it to police.