$2M in baseball cards stolen from card show, dealer says; $70K reward offered

"Collection of baseball cards and baseball on old wooden table.  Shallow dof, focus on stack of cards baseball in background is out of focus."

ALLEN, Texas — A vintage baseball card dealer said someone stole an entire case of baseball cards from his booth at the end of a recent card show in Texas.

Ashsh Jai from Legacy Cardz said that people came up to talk to his workers and while they were distracted, another man grabbed the case from the table behind him at the Dallas Card Show, KXAS reported.

The show bills itself “The Largest Card Show Series in the Nation!”

The brazen theft was caught on surveillance video. If you watch closely, you will see a person come from the top of the video, walk to the group of tables in the center of the shot and grab a case, then casually walk out of the tables. As soon as the person is gone with the black case, the other men leave.

Jai believes the man who took the case was a worker at the venue, writing on X that the man had been stacking chairs for over an hour. After viewing security footage, Jai realized the team of men had been watching the booth all day. He said the men changed their clothes at some point.

“It was predetermined, and targeted because they knew exactly what case to take, which contained a large portion of my inventory,” Jai alleged.

The Allen Police Department is investigating.

“It appears from surveillance video that a group of organized individuals came in while one was distracting the victim, the other one moved in and took the briefcase full of cards and left before anyone realized what happened,” Officer Sammy Rippamonti told The Athletic.

A police report said there were about 170 cards in the case.

Jai told Cllct, a collectibles news website, “It was the one with all the meat. They knew which one to take.”

Cllct said there were six 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards and two 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson rookie cards. Jai told the website he was selling one of the Mantle cards, which was graded 6 out of 10, for $175,000.

Jai has alerted major card grading companies of the certification numbers on the cards, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

The department is using fingerprint and facial recognition software as well as talking with other vendors, The Athletic reported.

“One thing that we’ve learned with the trading card community is that it’s a very tight-knit group, they all know each other pretty well because they all do shows together, so they’re all on the lookout as well,” Rippamonti told The Athletic. “Our officers interviewed anyone that was around who might have information, so it’s become very well known throughout the card community that this incident occurred, and they’re all sticking together it seems like and trying to help, which is a great thing.”

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