‘Pokemon card theft ring’ orchestrated heist in North Carolina Walmart, cops say

Hayley Fowler
·1 min read

Pokemon trading cards have been disappearing from a Walmart in Eastern North Carolina in what local law enforcement have called a “Pokemon card theft ring.”

Now two people in their 20s have been arrested.

Stephen Anthony Rochelle Jr. and Amanda Briana Morgan, both 27, were charged in February with felony larceny and felony conspiracy, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Tuesday.

Rochelle and Morgan live in Jacksonville near the North Carolina coast and were issued a $5,000 secured bond after their arrest, the sheriff’s office said.

According to the statement, officials at a Walmart in Richlands reported several Pokemon trading cards had been stolen on Feb. 21.

Packs of Pokemon cards at Walmart run from $5 to $50. The retail giant also lists some for thousands of dollars, including a limited collection master battle set box for $2,500 and Pokemon Base Set Charizard for $1,200.

“During the investigation it was learned that the suspect(s) used the ‘bait and switch’ method, whereby they replaced the higher priced cards with a lower price bar code,” the sheriff’s office said.

It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday how investigators linked Rochelle and Morgan to the stolen cards.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information about the Pokemon card theft ring to call Detective C. Simmons at 910-455-3113 or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273 and refer to case 2021002004 on the phone.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637.