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Man charged with $100k trading card heist in Madison County

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An Oklahoma man has been charged for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars worth of rare trading cards from shops across the midwest and trying to resell them in Texas.

According to Troy Police, Nicholas Garrison, 23, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was charged with burglary, theft over $10,000 and criminal damage to property over $10,000 for allegedly burglarizing the Realm of Gaming game shop in Troy. He is currently awaiting extradition back to Illinois.

On Monday, Oct. 11, at around 8 a.m., Troy Police responded to the 300 block of Edwardsville Road where a citizen reported the front door of a gaming shop had been broken.

Sam Bozarth, who co-owns Realms of Gaming with David McGonagall, said the front door of his store had been smashed in at around 3 a.m. by a lone individual who then cleaned out the stores' display cases where valuable Magic: The Gathering cards were kept.

In total, Bozarth said the masked man stole more than $100,000 worth of Magic: The Gathering trading card merchandise.

The break-in is one of three that occurred overnight across the St. Louis area.

Two other stores, Yeti Games and Game Nite, both located in St. Louis, also were looted of valuable collectibles. In both cases, the individual who broke into the store smashed several display cases and targeted Pokémon trading card games, which according to a recent article by Vox are seeing a surge in value, with some packs of cards selling for more than $300,000.

Troy Police requested assistance from the Illinois State Police to aid in the investigation. During that investigation, Troy detectives identified a suspect vehicle using newly added license plate reader cameras installed within the city.

In a statement, Troy Chief of Police Brent Shownes said his department worked with five other agencies that had similar burglary cases in St. Louis, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Together, the departments identified Garrison and arrested him in Bedford, Texas.

Troy detectives traveled to Texas to continue their investigation. There they found numerous items of stolen property from the Realms of Gaming burglary as well as more property allegedly stolen by Garrison from surrounding area stores.

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MingHuan Xu, a professional violinist and director of the string program at Roosevelt University, said the antique violin stolen has an immense cultural and personal value. It was made by renowned Italian violin-maker Nicolò Gagliano in 1758.

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