Kamloops man barred from Toys R Us after 'massive' Pokemon card theft

Pokemon thief sentenced

A Kamloops man who stole $7,500 worth of Pokemon cards for the “adrenaline rush” will be barred for a year from entering any Toys R Us store in B.C.

Joseph Ronald Graham, 34, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Monday to one count of theft over $5,000.

Court heard police were called by the manager of the Toys R Us on Notre Dame Drive in December 2019 after she noticed a significant number of Pokemon card blister packs missing from her store’s inventory. A review of security footage showed the same man stealing packs of cards on a number of occasions.

When staff saw the suspected thief return to the store, they confronted him and followed him outside, where they wrote down his licence plate number.

With that information, court heard, police located the man at a home on Ord Road and eventually obtained a search warrant to enter the house.

Crown prosecutor Bonnie MacDonald said Mounties seized a “massive” number of Pokemon cards during the search.

“His motive is probably a little bit less obvious than it is in a lot of these cases — essentially, he was collecting them and was looking for the more rare cards,” MacDonald said of Graham.

“He was pleased to have possession of a lot of cards, but most of them he was just giving away to his girlfriend’s daughter.”

MacDonald said Graham told police stealing the cards was easy.

“It almost became habitual,” she said. “It became a rush of adrenaline in his day.”

Court heard the total value of the stolen cards was $7,484.

Graham has no prior criminal record.

Kamloops provincial court Judge Roy Dickey called the case an “unusual” one.

“He was collecting rare cards and then giving away many of the cards with really no motive to profit — at least with the cards he was giving away,” he said.

“Apparently he was getting a thrill from the theft of these cards.”

Graham will spend one year on probation, with terms requiring he stay away from all Toys R Us stores in the province and complete 50 hours of community service.

More Kamloops News