A series of burglaries targeting trading card shops have been reported in Tokyo amid the popularity of high-priced cards featuring Pokemon characters, causing damage estimated to be tens of millions of yen in total since last summer.

According to sources at Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department, Pokemon and other collectible cards were stolen from several stores in the Akihabara district in the capital between November and December last year. A store in Machida in suburban Tokyo had 60 cards worth a total of approximately ¥8.5 million stolen in early December. In all cases, burglars broke into the stores late at night after opening hours and stole the cards.

At least five burglary cases targeting trading cards have been confirmed in Tokyo since around summer 2022. "I've never heard of (such cases happening so successively)," a senior investigative source said.