The Heart of the Cards had the law on its side.

Shortly before 5 o’clock on the evening on March 13, a man in his 20s walked into Fukufuku, a collectible trading card shop in Tokyo’s otaku district of Akihabara. After looking over the wares, he asked the staff if he could have one of the cards removed from the showcase so that he could inspect it more closely.

The staff obliged his request and handed him the Blue Eyes White Dragon.

This was a rare and valuable version of the classic Yu-Gi-Oh! monster card, which Fukufuku was selling for 4.98 million yen (roughly US$33,500). Rather than pay the full price of try to haggle the store down, though, the man grabbed the card and ran off. Once outside the store, he hopped into a car that had been waiting about 100 meters (328 feet) down the road, which then drove away with the thief and stolen Blue Eyes White Dragon.

▼ This specific branch of Fukufuku, the Akihabara Collection Card Specialty Shop branch, doesn’t currently appear on Google Streetview, but ironically the location looks to have previously been a security camera (防犯カメラ) shop.

But just as your luck will eventually run out if you’re running risky strategies in a card game, the two men involved in the robbery have been found and arrested. On Friday, officers from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Investigation Division 3 announced that they have arrested a pair of 22-year-old men, Sora Takashino and Kanta Sanmi

▼ Investigation Division 3 seems to be the section of the police force that deals with thefts, burglaries, purse-snatching, and pickpocketing, not a special task force formed to solve otaku-related capers.

Takashino has admitted to being the one who entered the store and stole the card, saying “I did it to [have money for] living and entertainment expenses.” Sanmi, meanwhile, has only admitted to driving the car, but says “I didn’t think that [Takashino] had stolen anything,” and would apparently like investigators to believe he’s just that chill that if he sees an acquaintance running down the street who then jumps into his car, he doesn’t have any questions about what they’re up to.

“Hey bro! You out jogging? HOP IN!”

Sanmi has been identified as a resident of Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, while Takashino has no fixed address. Neither of the two men is employed.

On the night of the robbery, roughly three hours after the incident took place, the men say they sold the stolen Blue Eyes White Dragon off at a different store in Ikebukuro for one million yen, presumably deeply discounting it so that they could transfer the stolen property into cash as quickly as possible. It’s unclear what happened to the card after that, as well as whether or not the money they men got from the sale has already been spent or not.

Japan’s traditionally low crime rates have, for quite some time, meant that many stores operate with what would be considered very relaxed security protocols in other countries. With a recent rash of card thefts and smash-and-grab robberies, merchants may have to rethink how much merchandise access they give to customers pre-purchase.

Source: TV Asahi via Hachima Kiko, Livedoor News/Kyodo, Tokyo Shimbun, NHK
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