KENNESAW, Ga. — The last Sunday in January started off relatively normal for Shannon Bishoff and Tyler Sanders. The two own Steel Collectibles, a rare collectibles store in Kennesaw. Unfortunately, they said an untimely theft now has them calling on the public to help them track down hard-to-find games and the person they say stole them.
“We do vintage toys and video games, comics,” Sanders explained. “Mostly retro video games is our biggest seller, Funko Pops, etc.”
The decade-old specialty business is stocked wall-to-wall with items for just about every toy, video game, and comic book enthusiast. It’s also stocked with several surveillance cameras. And while most of the time, the cameras catch folks browsing through the aisles looking for a bargain, on Sunday, it caught something Bishoff and Sanders didn’t bargain for.
“The way he moved around, he was so slick. He knew where everything was,” said Bishoff.
Bishoff was referring to a man perusing the aisles on surveillance video. According to Bishoff, the man snuck away with several video games.
“Nobody noticed what he was doing. He just kind of left before we realized what had happened. As soon as we would turn our backs, he would stick something in his jacket," Sanders said.
Surveillance video shows the man, in a red and white baseball cap, blue jeans, dark shirt and large jacket, looking at items, and shoving some into his pockets or jacket. It’s estimated he got away with more than 12 rare or expensive items valued at more than $600.
“Some of the older video games that they no longer make, games that haven’t been in production in 10 or 15 years,” said Sanders. “And something else he stole was in our pickup area. That means a customer had already bought this on our online store and was waiting to pick it up."
Walking through the store, Bishoff pointed out the areas, some out in the open, where the items were taken.
“He took a console that was sitting right here,” she said pointing to a counter. “The thing of main value was the customer’s pickup order. That was over $300 just for that.”
Steel Collectibles was one of the small businesses lucky enough to survive the pandemic. And because it’s a specialty store, there's a hard-felt ripple effect when any amount is taken from them.
“Steel Collectibles actually is a support for two family households,” said Bishoff. “So, when that’s taken from us, that’s our paycheck. We don’t have another source of income. This is our income. This is our livelihood. This is our business and this is what we live off of. And you’re taking from two families when you come and steal from here.”
Sanders echoed Bishoff, adding that the pain is felt beyond their pockets.
“It’s hurtful. It’s hurtful emotionally and financially to a small business. You stole from a small business. That’s probably the worst thing you can do to a small business is steal.”
Kennesaw Police confirmed the suspect seen in the videos is who they are looking for. They haven’t said if they suspect him in any other cases of robbery from stores in the area.
A car seemingly belonging to the man is a 2007 Honda Accord/Civic two-door with silver paint and a possible South Carolina plate.
Sanders and Bishoff hope this is a one-off for the suspect and he doesn't continue to do this to other small businesses. They believe the man probably wanted to sell the items to make money. Sanders said it’s emotional since they run an honest business and work hard to provide for their families.
Sanders said they had one message for the alleged thief.
“Shame on you."
Bishoff added they do have insurance but are waiting to file in case the person is caught, and can pay court-ordered restitution.
The items the two know for sure were taken include:
Pokémon Celebrations Elite Trainer Box
Pokémon Conquest for the Nintendo DS (in box)
Poochy Amiibo (in box)
Blue 3DS XL handheld gaming system (no box)
Three Stooges NES game
Random loose GameCube games
Random loose handheld games for a Gameboy and Nintendo DS and more.