Million dollar heist in collectibles stolen: Local PD

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STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Police are trying to identify a thief who made off with millions of dollars of rare and collectable baseball cards before a collectors convention here.

The Strongsville Sports Collectors Convention in April is billed as one of the most important three day events in rare and vintage sports cards.

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The event featured more than 70 vendors and auction houses from across the country, including Memory Lane Auctions, headquartered in California.

“There was stuff at that show that everybody was drooling over, and some of the things that dealers bring in are not for sale,” said Russ James, owner of Heritage Coins and Collectables in Brecksville, who was there to have two Roberto Clemente signed baseballs authenticated.

“You are bringing in a show-and-tell because it brings people to your table, so you can show the stuff that you actually want to sell,” he said.

For the convention, Memory Lane shipped 54 rare and collectable baseball cards to the Best Western Plus in Strongsville, which is next door to the Brunswick Arena where the convention was to be held.

Police records show the cards were dropped off but when they were to be picked up before the convention they were reported stolen.

Rich Mueller, Editor of Sports Collectors Daily who broke the story, tells Fox 8 News some of the cards may not have ever been up for auction, others may not have been available for years.

The collection reportedly included valuable T206 and Cracker Jack cards among others that police reports show are valued at between two and three million dollars.

James says those type of cards would be very difficult to sell to legitimate dealers

“They are difficult to move because of what they are. When I say they are difficult to move if somebody was to come in here with a boatload of T206 or Cracker Jack cards, I would wonder where they came from. I would want the back story because a collection that vast and that valuable is something people spend a lifetime to build,” said James.

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James said the cards would also have identifiable markings and the high end auction houses would likely also not want anything to do with them.

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