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Pierce County game store lost $20,000 in collectible cards after brazen break-in

Surveillance footage shows a person crashing through a glass door to take playing cards for the game, "Magic: The Gathering."

GRAHAM, Wash. — A game store in Pierce County was hit with a burglary for the third time since it opened, according to the store's owner.

Surveillance footage from the shop's security cameras showed a person using a rock to crack the glass door before crashing through it. The crime happened Wednesday around 6:19 a.m., according to Andy Engelbeck, owner of Next Level: The Gamer's Den.

"They knew exactly what they wanted and went for it," said Engelbeck.

The collectibles store and gaming space, located on 224th Street East in Graham, lost about $20,000 worth of collectible cards in retail value, according to Engelbeck.

"It's like baseball cards. They're not going to print that again," said Engelbeck.

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Items stolen include highly-valued playing cards for the game, "Magic: The Gathering." Engelbeck said the thief seen on video focused on the Magic cards.

"They didn't take anything else," said Engelbeck. "They didn't waste any time on the Pokemon case."

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is looking into the burglary incident, according to Public Information Officer Darren Moss Jr.

Moss said businesses are advised to install alarm systems that include video and audio recording capabilities to help detectives investigate burglary cases.

Moss also said theft and robbery cases tend to rise during the holiday season.

Engelbeck noted other game and collectibles stores have been burglarized in recent months and believes such stores are being targeted for their valuable items. He said the gaming community has offered support to help the store recover its losses.

"I have players that have my phone number that are like, calling me, texting me, 'Hey what's going on, what do we need to do?'" said Engelbeck.

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