Pat’s Games, a pillar of the Austin, Texas Magic community and past guest of the Manaverse Podcast has suffered quite the blow recently. According to a post they made on Reddit, they were broken into in the wee hours of the morning and had $75 000 worth of Magic the Gathering cards stolen from their inventory. That includes $17 000 in Expedition lands alone.
Apparently the daring and dastardly thief (thieves maybe) managed to pull the locked, front door off its hinges using a water meter turn off key. They then proceeded to remove all the display cases from the store and made off with an incredibly large and valuable collection.
Pat’s Games is reaching out to the community to help to try to catch the perpetrator so if you happen to see any suspicious eBay listings in the near future, give Pat a head’s up. Especially if you’re living in the Austin area keep an eye out for anyone trying to unload a lot of valuable cards in the near future.
MTGLion has also recorded a video to help spread the word about this crime.
Now, allow me to step on my soap box for a few minutes.
This particular act of theft is a crime in more ways than one. For a burglar to target Pat’s Games and her inventory of Magic cards, they would almost certainly have to be a member of the Magic community. Maybe not the local community, but a Magic player most likely.
For a Magic player to betray and damage an LGS in this way is truly tragic. Our local game stores are places of fun and enjoyment, havens from the stress of everyday life where players can find other people just like them to connect with. Pat’s Games is a perfect example of a community that exists solely because of the efforts of Pat and her team, and their success as a business is a reflection of how much value they have added to their customer’s lives.
It seems almost antithetical for a member of such a community to commit such an act, but yet, here we are.
This is my plea to the burglar(s) if they happen to read this post.
Reconsider your choices and your path in life. Besides being an immoral, douche bag thing to do, you’ve hurt the business and the people who have built a welcoming community you may very well have been a part of. The very thing that gives the cards you have stolen value in the first place.
Return the stolen property. You can do it anonymously and don’t necessarily have to turn yourselves in although that would be the honourable thing to do. There are other, far better ways to get money that don’t require the win/lose situation of outright theft.
Pat’s Games will survive this. Pat runs a good business and they will make it through the tough times ahead but theft is a wide-spread problem for game stores. Many of which would not survive such a large financial hit.
The LGS I owned many years ago had many of it’s most valuable cards stolen due to carelessness. The total value of the cards was nowhere near $75k but it was still a good portion of the overall stock value and ended up being a pretty large contributing factor as to why I could no longer sustain the business.
There is the general perception that businesses can just eat the loss. It’s the “they’re big, and I’m small so it’s OK if I steal from them” attitude, and that’s bullshit. It’s not only thefts of the magnitude like the one that Pat has endured but also the ongoing, small time, petty theft that eats away at an LGS. The accumulated damage of multiple small thefts like shoplifting will surely bring down an LGS just as thoroughly, if not as sensationally.
It’s like a death from a thousand paper cuts. Each one cuts into a store’s ability to stay in existence but also at the resolve of the entrepreneur who created it.
As a community we need to stand together and stand with the store owners.
If you know someone who steals casually, tell them to stop. I know it can be a tough conversation, especially if that person is your friend, but if you want to have principles and integrity in your life that’s what is needed.
If you are someone who occasionally partakes in a five finger discount, lay off. You probably don’t even realize how destructive your actions are but now you have no excuse.
And if you’re the person who has no moral issues with brazenly destroying and stealing someone’s property, you probably won’t listen to some guy on the internet telling you to quit your life of crime. All I can say to you is you reap what you sow and you will eventually you will reap the whirlwind.
Stay strong Pat, we’re with you.