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Gen Con Magic: The Gathering card thieves charged with felony theft

Charges could mean up to 5 years in prison and a hefty fine

A tray with Magic the Gathering cards on the table during a game at Endgame in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Endgame, which opened at its current location 10 years ago, sells only board and miniature games and thrives despite not offering Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Two men who allegedly stole $300,000 worth of Magic: The Gathering cards from an Illinois retailer setting up at tabletop convention Gen Con have been charged with felony theft, according to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office in Indianapolis.

Thomas Dunbar and Andrew Giaume, who created a game called Castle Assault, have been charged with felony theft for their parts in the alleged theft of the Magic: The Gathering Cards from retailer and tournament organizer Pastimes Comics & Games. Should Dunbar and Giaume be found guilty, they face one to six years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The prosecutor's office said the charges come after an investigation that spanned both Indiana and New York, where Dunbar and Giaume reside.

“During the course of the investigation, the stolen merchandise was located and recovered as evidence,” Marion County prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a statement issued to Polygon. “The filing of charges today ensures that there are criminal consequences for this conduct.”

An affidavit provided to Polygon details the theft and subsequent investigation. On Aug. 2, Pastimes Comics & Games manager John Temple reported the cards as stolen from his company’s designated space on the Gen Con show floor. Days later, police received security footage that showed the alleged theft, which featured two white men matching Dunbar’s and Giaume’s descriptions using a pallet jack to relocate a pallet full of boxes wrapped in plastic. Once the men removed the pallet of cards from the Pastimes booth, it’s alleged that they then hid it under a curtain. Later, the men appeared again, this time with a “red hand cart” full of Magic: The Gathering card boxes, unwrapped from the plastic previously affixing them to the pallet.

Security footage showed the two men, moving the cards from the Indiana Convention Center through a hotel and into its parking garage, where they presumably loaded the boxes into a car. Security footage then showed the men leaving the garage with an empty cart. The affidavit even includes a photo of the car the men left in, a 2023 Nissan Murano, driving in Indiana with the cardboard boxes visible in the trunk of the car. Ultimately, police were able to connect that rented car to Dunbar.

The pair were able to be connected to Gen Con because they had both originally registered badges in their names. The affidavit says the names were changed to Scott Fischer and Ashriel Lockheart sometime between Aug. 1 and Aug. 5.

Grainy photos showing two men pulling a pallet full of boxes
Grainy security footage of two men pulling a pallet full of boxes, as shown in the theft affidavit
Image: Marion County Prosecutor's Office

Video evidence isn’t the only material mentioned in the affidavit. Somewhere before Dunbar and Giaume left Indiana for New York, the two allegedly attempted to enter the area at Gen Con shared by Asmodee and Atomic Mass Games, which make Marvel and Star Wars tabletop games, among others. A person contracted to work that booth believed the pair was trying to break in, and snapped a photo before they left. When police went public with the photo, that contractor recognized Dunbar.

A New York attorney later contacted police, saying he represented a person who was “coerced” into buying the pallet of Magic: The Gathering cards for $4,000. The person didn’t realize the true value, the attorney said, until they came home and saw the Gen Con heist story on the news. On Aug. 25, the New York State Police went to that attorney’s office, where they found 115 boxes of Magic: The Gathering trading cards and Dungeons & Dragons books, according to the affidavit. Police are holding the material as evidence.

Polygon has reached out to Pastimes Comics & Games for comment.

Correction: We’ve updated this story to include the correct state Pastimes Comics & Games is located in.

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