Recently an LGS was robbed of an Alpha Edition Black Lotus signed by none other than Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering. With the value of that card in the tens of thousands of dollars, collectors everywhere were put on alert to watch for the resale–such a unique card would not be sold unnoticed through legitimate channels.
Everyone expected the Lotus to turn up quickly. After all, what thief would pass up on an opportunity to make a quick $40k? As it happens, the Lotus did turn up but not in the way most people expected.
The bi-weekly Modern Tournament at Gideon Down to Joes Cards was interrupted by a masked man wielding the stolen Alpha Black Lotus, but gripped in a hole punch. Jake Roberts, a regular to the LGS and present at the time told us the story:
“He walked in shouting that he wanted everyone’s wallets. At first, we thought he had a gun, but as he walked by to pick them up we realized it was much, much worse,” Roberts said, emotional. “It was there, gripped in a hole punch. Naked. Not even in a penny sleeve. To see a card of the caliber reduced to a PSA 7 like that… We did whatever he wanted. We had to. For the card’s sake. He had a second hole punch that he kept clicking at people who wouldn’t listen. I still dream of that sound…”
We asked Roberts if the thief left any clues to their identity. “Whoever it was knew what they were doing. They knew to go after the wallets but left everyone’s cards alone. Had they crossed that line there would have been retaliation. To me, that was a sign that they knew MTG players personally.”
Police are investigating, but as of today have released no details or announced any arrests to the public.