MMA Fighters Stop Thief and Recover $30,000 Worth of Pokémon Cards

MMA Fighters Stop Thief and Recover $30,000 Worth of Pokémon Cards

16. May 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

On May 6th, a dramatic incident unfolded at Pro Play Games in Miami when a 33-year-old man attempted to steal a binder containing 3,000 rare Pokémon cards, valued at over $30,000. The attempted theft quickly became a topic of widespread interest on social media.

The Incident

The man entered the store and tried to make off with the valuable collection of cards. Store employees and customers immediately tried to intervene, but the thief resisted and threatened them with violence. Fortunately, two MMA fighters happened to be in the store at the time. These fighters were able to subdue the suspect and hold him until the police arrived.


The Aftermath

The quick actions of the MMA fighters and the store’s community led to the arrest of the suspect. He now faces charges of grand theft and aggravated assault. This incident is one of several recent high-profile thefts involving Pokémon cards, highlighting their increasing value and the lengths some are willing to go to obtain them.

Other Notable Pokémon Card Thefts

This Miami incident is not isolated. There have been several notable thefts of Pokémon cards in recent times:

Yakuza-Linked Theft

On April 29th, an executive accountant of the Yakuza was arrested for stealing 29 items valued at 252,000 yen, including 25 Pokémon cards. Although the suspect, Saito, confessed, authorities believe he had accomplices. This case garnered attention due to the involvement of a Yakuza member, challenging common stereotypes about organized crime figures.

High-Value Heist in Japan

In January, two thieves in Japan stole 300 Pokémon cards valued at over 20 million yen (approximately $125,000) in just two minutes. The cards, averaging 416 euros each, were on display due to a lack of space in a secure vault.

Printing Plant Scandal

In 2023, an employee at a printing plant attempted to sell thousands of rare and holographic Pokémon cards from the Fusion Strike series on a Facebook group. The plan unraveled when Trading Card World, the store he attempted to sell to, identified the cards’ suspicious origins and alerted The Pokémon Company.

GameStop’s Big Bet on Pokémon TCG: Graded Cards Expansion


The rapid intervention by the MMA fighters at Pro Play Games underscores the community’s role in preventing crime and safeguarding valuable collectibles. However, the increasing frequency of high-profile thefts serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by collectors and stores in protecting their valuable assets.