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Baseball Cards Are Targets for Thieves

Where there are cards, there are crooks.

Crime stats may be on the decline, but don’t tell that to some victims of what seems to be a rash of sports card capers that have left some collectors and dealers holding the bag–an empty one.

Our crime roundup starts in Evanston, Illinois, where The Daily Northwestern reports an elderly man was robbed after falling for a scam last Saturday. It’s similar to the one that another band of criminals pulled on long-time collector Lionel Carter last year.

Police report the 87-year-old resident of the city answered his door at 12:50 p.m. to a man dressed in an orange construction vest.

The man claimed he was a water company employee and that he needed to see something in the resident’s basement. The victim then followed the man downstairs where the "worker" began talking on his cell phone.

The resident started to hear noises from the first floor, became suspicious and told the intruder he was going to call the police.

The man quickly left and was followed by the resident, who saw that an apparent accomplice of the bogus water inspector had been going through cabinets and closets.

After looking through the house, the man believed the intruders stole a collection of baseball cards.

The thieves left in a dark station wagon and police continue to investigate.

Further south, 61 year-old Woodrow Sells told Muncie, Indiana police someone stole his collection of baseball cards worth about $9,000.

Sells moved to Florida, but had returned to Muncie to move the rest of his belongings when he noticed his collection was missing from the apartment located above his former business, a welding shop.

Sells told police someone replaced the cards with an iron bar, to make it feel as if the cards were still inside the plastic tote where he’d kept them.

Sells didn’t name a possible suspect but said a friend lives in the apartment, and his son runs the welding business. He also told police several family members knew where the baseball cards were located.

In Waterbury, Connecticut, a local collector reports that a sports card shop owner was burglarized for the second time and that checking the cash register for money was apparently not on their agenda.