July 22, 2024

Millions of dollars of rare baseball cards, including 1952 Mickey Mantle cards, allegedly stolen in Dallas

A sports card dealer is alleging that a man stole approximately $2 million worth of rare baseball cards and inventory from a card show in Texas on Sunday in a coordinated group effort caught on video.

Ashish Jain, owner of Legacy Cardz, published security camera footage on X and pictures of the cards allegedly stolen from the Dallas Card Show at the Marriott Dallas Allen Hotel and Convention Center in Allen, Texas, on Sunday. The police report lists four unknown male suspects.

“It appears from surveillance video that a group of organized individuals came in while one was distracting the victim, the other one moved in and took the briefcase full of cards and left before anyone realized what happened,” Allen Police Department officer Sammy Rippamonti told The Athletic.

The thieves made off with approximately 170 cards, according to a police report obtained by The Athletic. Jain said on X the briefcase contained some of the most valuable baseball cards on the market.

“It was the one with all the meat,” Jain told Cllct regarding the briefcase. “They knew which one to take.”

Among the pieces in the case were six 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards and two 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson rookie cards, according to Cllct. The most valuable of the Mantle rookie cards had a PSA grade of 6 (on the card condition grading scale out of 10), which Jain was selling for $175,000.

“The man seen taking the case from under the table in the middle of the square of tables had been stacking chairs near the booth for over an hour, and we thought he worked there,” Jain wrote on X. “These guys had been scoping us out all day after footage review, and even went (through) a process of changing clothes. It was predetermined, and targeted because they knew exactly what case to take, which contained a large portion of my inventory.”

According to Rippamonti, investigators are using every available resource to track down the suspects, including fingerprint and facial recognition technology. Other vendors have also been a helpful resource.

“One thing that we’ve learned with the trading card community is that it’s a very tight-knit group, they all know each other pretty well because they all do shows together, so they’re all on the lookout as well,” Rippamonti said. “Our officers interviewed anyone that was around who might have information, so it’s become very well known throughout the card community that this incident occurred, and they’re all sticking together it seems like and trying to help, which is a great thing.”

While there have been minor incidents at the annual Dallas Card Show involving a missing card here or there, Rippamonti said there has never been a case to this magnitude. He said the police department plans on beefing up security measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

On Monday, Jain offered a $70,000 reward for information leading to the return of the case.

Jain shared photos of the inventory allegedly taken with the case, including nearly 20 Willie Mays cards, Honus Wagner cards and a PSA 10 (gem mint) Tom Seaver rookie card priced at $90,000.

Jain did not respond to requests for comment.

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(Photo: Matt Dirksen / Colorado Rockies / Getty Images)