“I feel like they knew what they were looking for,” Gene Farley, who owns Comics & Collectibles with his wife Pam, told ICv2. “They had clearly cased the place.” The burglars cut the phone lines and then climbed into the ceiling of another store, made their way to the area above the comic shop, removed the ceiling tiles, and reached down and took items from the top shelf. They stole about $3,000 worth of sealed packs of Pokemon and Magic the Gathering cards, Farley said, adding that he suspects the thieves broke up the packs and sold them as singles. “There would be no way to track them,” he said, “because I had a bunch of packs stolen and they're selling a bunch of singles, and those are not the same thing. Once you've cracked them, they almost launder themselves.”
Farley estimates that about half the comics and collectibles shops in the area have been robbed. That includes A-1 Comics, where owner Brian Peet told Sacramento’s KCRA that his stores have been burglarized twice in the past three months, with $50,000 worth of merchandise being stolen in one case.
On November 23, someone smashed the window of ToyFusion, which sells collectible toys, and took a number of toys in sealed boxes. Owner Andrew Leuong told KCRA that the burglary seemed to be carefully planned. “They came in. They took down all the cameras. They knew where everything was at,” he said. In that case, the thief was confronted as he left the building carrying a short box of comics, and he dropped the comics and fled, so the store owners have a description of both the burglar and the car.