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$40,000 Pokémon Card Thief Thwarted By MMA Fighters

Using their ju jitsu, the pair of coaches pinned the would-be card thief to the parking lot

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Machamp helps out with some MMA fighters tackling a thief.
Image: NBC / The Pokémon Company / Kotaku

Pokémon cards remain big business, even long after the excesses of 2020's price spikes. Just last week a UK collection sold for £55,270 ($69,404), more than double its auction guide price. So you can see the incentive for a Florida man who attempted to steal $40,000-worth from a Miami store, only to be pinned to the ground by some MMA coaches.

33-year old Jasiel Manfarrol was in Miami-Dade TCG store Pro Play Games, where he asked if he could take a look at a binder of Pokémon cards, reports NBC Miami (via Dexerto). But rather than peruse the collection of rare starters, he instead grabbed it (and another it was tied to) and ran to the door, before looking back at store owner AnaMilena Machado and laughing as he left. Dick.


However, in perfect “Florida Man...” story style, the tale takes an odd turn. Disappointingly, he wasn’t attacked by an alligator, but it’s close. Machado followed him out of the store and yelled for her property back, while other bystanders tried to get involved. At this point, Manfarrol pulled out a pair of pliers and gestured like he was going to...remove people’s loose nails? It’s unclear. According to NBC Miami, the arrest report quotes Manfarrol as saying, “I’m going to stab you,” in Spanish.


At this point, two MMA coaches from a nearby gym pulled up in their car in front of Manfarrol, jumped out, and pinned him to the ground.

“My friend jumped out of the car, cut him off and that’s when we got on top of him and used our ju jitsu to subdue him,” coach Dominic Galiana told NBC.


The capture was caught on surveillance camera, which makes Manfarrol’s plea of “not guilty” to charges of grand theft and aggravated assault quite the bold choice.

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According to Manfarrol, he had been paid to steal the binders, which the store owner estimated to be worth from $30,000 to $40,000. The store itself looks awesome, and if you’re in the area you should go check it out.