Suspected thieves who stole $300,000 worth of TCG cards might've worn their own card game's merch during Gen Con heist

Two suspects in an ongoing investigation regarding over $300,000 worth of stolen cards are pictured pulling their bounty out of Gen Con on a pallet.
(Image credit: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

This article was originally published on August 7, and has been updated on August 15 to include new information on two "strong persons of interest", identified as the developers of the card game Castle Assault. Click here to jump to the new information.

As first spotted by Dicebreaker, a recent statement from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) reports that around $300,000's worth of trading cards were stolen from Gen Con 2023 August 2.

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The IMPD's official statement reveals more about the card thieves. "The people of interest reportedly acquired a pallet jack, removed one pallet of gaming cards, and moved them to an unknown location."

Two additional photos were posted by the IMPD, asking the public to help identify its potential suspects, who can be seen below, strolling out of Gen Con with the pallet trailing behind them.

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Strong persons of interest named

Then, on August 14 (as reported by Gizmodo) the IMPD identified and named two suspects in the ongoing case: Andrew Pearson Giaume and Thomas J. Dunbar. 

The IMPD's news page on Facebook has also updated its call for public help, alongside several other photos of the "strong persons of interest". One photo even shows a suspect wearing what appears to be Castle Assault t-shirt.

Two potential suspects in the Gen Con 2023 card heist wheel a pallet of cards out of the building. One is wearing what might be "Castle Assault" merch.

(Image credit: IMPD)

Giaume and Dunbar are designers themselves, and are the creators of the card game "Castle Assault", which describes itself as "tower defence meets tactical strategy". The game was successfully kickstarted in 2015, and it's been played at Gen Con before—in 2017. Though, the game's official Facebook page still has that year's advertisement as its banner image.

It's likely that the pair were taking advantage of the pre-event rush, where scenes of event staff moving pallets are commonplace. "The alleged theft took place before the opening of events in the downtown area and while vendors were setting up their displays at various times."

As confirmed by Ravensburger's official Twitter account, the upcoming Disney Lorcana card game is accounted for. While it was a prime candidate for would-be card pirates—considering hopefuls were queuing for as long as 14 hours to play it—it seems the heist happened elsewhere.

The sheer estimated value of a single pallet—one that could pay off roughly eight combined student debts in the US at the time of writing—boggles the mind. It's not entirely surprising, though: some ultra-rare cards have gone for as much as $2 million, and even empty boxes of Magic: The Gathering items have sold for hundreds.

Whether the thieves can shift their stolen inventory on the TCG black market is yet to be seen. Shifting that much stock on the world wide web is bound to be a challenge, especially now the heist's garnered publicity—with the evocative image of two card thieves striding confidently out of the convention centre, pallet in tow. Unfortunately, theft, scalping, and scamming isn't exactly uncommon in the TCG community at large.

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.