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Pokémon cards worth $500K stolen, collector says

South Carolina deputies say they were valued at $200,000, however

an overhead photo of dozens pokemon cards
Image: Getty Images
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

It’s time to track down Team Rocket, because a true Pokémon heist happened two weeks in South Carolina.

Roughly $200,000 worth of Pokémon cards were stolen from a South Carolina home in mid-July, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. Christopher Polydorou of Inman, S.C., reported the theft on July 13.

The Smoking Gun spoke to Polydorou, who said the stolen goods were “valued in excess of $500,000.” But in an email to Polygon, a sheriff’s office spokesperson disputed that figure, and said their actual value was $200,000.

The original report says the cards were valued at “half a billion” dollars, quite likely an error. The case “remains an active investigation,” according to deputies.

In the report, Polydorou said the only persons who had been in the same room as the stolen cards, since October 2021, were his mother and some HVAC repairmen. To The Smoking Gun, Polydorou added that the cards were stored amongst other collectibles like baseball, football, and basketball cards in his 6,800 square-foot home.

Polydorou told The Smoking Gun he bought the cards in 2014 for $431,000. The collection supposedly contained three unopened boxes of cards, each with 24 packs of cards each. (The police report said one and a half boxes were stolen.) Polydorou said one box contained a rare Japanese edition of a card.

Polygon reached out to Polydorou and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s office for further clarification on the stolen items.

It’s no secret that rare Pokémon cards can fetch a pretty penny these days. It’s a lucrative and expensive hobby to collect the most valuable cards, some of which have sold for as much as $900,000.

Polydorou, an insurance broker, said that the cards were uninsured, so he’ll swallow the loss if the pilfered Pokémon don’t turn up.

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