Three imprisoned for 2.5 years in Pokémon card robbery
Three men from Lelystad were sentenced on Monday to 2.5 years in prison for stealing expensive Pokémon cards. The victim was locked in the hallway closet while the robbery took place.
According to the victim, the cards had a total value of 48,000 euros. The man from Kampen wanted to sell them and met with two potential buyers at his home on December 16, 2020. He let them in but was soon manhandled, and locked in the hall closet, he alleged. The two men then made off with his cards.
The court in Zwolle considered it proven that two 29-year-olds, Sjagalio K. and Bart G., were the robbers. They had no credible explanation for the fact that a finger print and a palm print of theirs was found on the hall closet door.
The 30-year-old Pokémon card dealer, Fahad Al-A., devised the heist and sold the loot, according to prosecutors. However, he said he obtained the cards by purchasing a sealed bag for 14,000 euros in cash at a petrol station in Almere. Ten of the stolen cards turned up in France in 2021, and were confiscated by the French police.
The court found Al-A.'s story implausible. The court saw him as the mastermind of the robbery. It also turned out that he, like the two others, was in Kampen at the time of the robbery. The judges did not believe that he was coincidentally driving around the area, as he doesn't have a car or a driver's license.
Prosecutors had called for a prison sentence of four years.
Pokémon cards are currently very popular with collectors, which led toy stores to implement extra safety measures at the end of last year. Rare cards can be worth tens of thousands of euros or more.
Reporting by ANP.