$160,000 worth of trading cards stolen from Hopkins memorabilia shop

Vintage card shops all over the country are being targeted as the value of the trading cards skyrocketed during the pandemic.

HOPKINS, Minn. — It was business as usual Thursday, for the team at Ultimate Collectibles in the heart of downtown Hopkins, just with less inventory than they started with over a week ago.

“We know now that whoever broke in here was able to checkout the place, like disarm and get in.”

Sports card manager Kelly Wells says he showed up to work last Monday morning to a partially opened back door, but initially didn’t think anything of it.

“Walked in expecting maybe somebody was here earlier to do a job and sure enough I saw the empty cases.”

Wells says $160,000 dollars worth of sports cards and Pokémon cards were stolen – he believes within a matter of minutes.

“They took probably 80 to 100 thousand dollars’ worth of unopened boxes, they took everything out of our case, they took our vintage baseball singles – the guys like Mantle, Maris, that era of guys,” said Wells. “And then they took all of our Pokémon singles.”

Vintage card shops all over the country are being targeted as the value of the trading cards skyrocketed during the pandemic.

“We were at one point making 14 times a month what we were making in 2019,” said Wells. “People had cards that they could look through now, they had things they wanted to sell or sets they wanted to finish.”

In some cases the demand for these coveted cards have gotten violent.

Target removed all sports and Pokémon cards from their shelves in May, after someone pulled a gun on a group of buyers at a store in Wisconsin.

When Wells was asked if he thought the heist was an inside job, he responded, “It’s strange, it seemed like they had a lot of knowledge about what’s here and … it’s easy to say that it’s somebody from the inside because some of what wasn’t taken is almost more surprising than some of what was.”

Wells is now having to play both card dealer and detective in hopes of tracking down whoever is responsible.

“I’m getting pictures of cards texted to me and just hoping that they come up looking like ours but that has not happened yet.”

The store is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest or the return of the stolen cards. 

“This would’ve killed most of the hobby shops in the city. The size of this theft would’ve absolutely put these companies out of business,” said Wells. 

The company has been in operation for 40 years. 

If you have any information you’re urged to call 952-452-9933. 

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