Over $54,000 cards stolen from East Tenn. sports memorabilia dealer

The owner of Sports Treasures is offering a reward to anyone who can help him get the stolen cards back.
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Over $54,000 worth of cards were stolen from an East Tennessee sports memorabilia dealer over the weekend.

Eddie Barkley, owner of Sports Treasures owns one of the largest sports card memorabilia dealers in the South. Barkley says the thief got exactly what he was looking for when he robbed the store not once but twice over the weekend.

Barkley says card values have skyrocketed since the pandemic, “I’ve probably sold 25 cards over $10,000 this year.”

He says the thief knew the card values were high as the suspect came through the front door of the store and ran straight to the back and grabbed an open case of cards. “He carried out an arm full of stuff in the first trip. And then, because the alarm didn’t go off, the person drove back by an hour and a half later, and actually came back in again and took another load.”

He says it could have been worse. The thief walked by a signed Tom Brady jersey with a $2,000 price tag on it and went right to the cases of untraceable cards worth thousands of dollars each.

Barkley says his store isn’t the only one that has been targeted. “There’s a store in Ottawa that’s been robbed lately, there’s a guy in Lexington that’s been robbed and they’ve all been robbed in the same format. So unfortunately it’s a trend that’s going to keep happening if people don’t find if we can’t find out who did it.

Video surveillance and the police reports say the thief who stole the cards was wearing gloves. “Obviously it’s a lot of money, but at the same time the fact that knowing that somebody came into your shop and violated your stuff. It’s just, You know that, that really tears you apart,” said Barkley.

He says he is offering a reward to anyone who can help him get the cards back and is considering hiring a private detective.

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