There’s quite a bit of heart that goes into running a sports card shop. Unfortunately, there’s heartbreak too.
"It’s clean right now, but this is the window where they came in. They broke the glass and broke the window," says Mark Hochstaetter, who runs Papa Hawks Sports & Collectibles in Golden Valley alongside Rob Hunegs, who runs Twin Cities Sports Cards in the same location off Highway 169.
The store had a break-in late Monday night, April 18.
"It’s very frustrating on our part. We do everything we can to secure our building as secure as possible not only for our collections, but our customers."
Thieves smashed a window, grabbed two safes and got away. The owners are still calculating losses while police investigated what happened and who did it. Just last year the shop was burglarized and damage reached into the six figures.
Just a week ago, thieves broke into a sports card shop in Hopkins.
"I’m heartbroken," says Shane Cohen, owner of Ultimate Collectibles on Main Street.
Thieves broke into the store, smashed cases, grabbed merchandise like Harmon Killebrew artwork, Mickey Mantle baseball cards, and signed Minnesota Twins baseballs. Cohen estimates the loss is upwards of $100,000.
"This was a major hit for us. It’s going to be hard for us to survive that kind of hit."
Thieves even took out the store’s surveillance system.
"They definitely knew what they were doing, knew where certain things were kept, and knew to get things out," says Cohen.
Police are still looking for who did it and whether the crimes are connected. Police say they have alerted pawn shops about the stolen merchandise and they ask any collectors who might be shopping online to be wary of possible stolen cards. Give them a call if you see anything suspicious.
Shannon Slatton, firstname.lastname@example.org
on Twitter: @sslatton