GameStop robberies are big business on the Christmas crime circuit

‘Tis the season… to be light fingered and threatening, at least if you’re on the lookout for some nefariously obtained videogame supplies from your local game store.

Indeed, while the likes of Circuit City, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart might be deemed ‘too big a fish’ for regional black-hearted reprobates, the local GameStop appears to be a glowing target when it comes to illegally cashing in on the seasonal Christmas surge traditionally experienced in the videogame industry.

Specifically, a GameStop store in Manchester, New Hampshire, was recently hit by creative thieves who actually worked their way through the wall of a vacant business unit in order to steal videogame goods worth approximately $30,000 USD. Reportedly the thieves avoided being captured by surveillance equipment as they liberated more than 100 Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 videogame consoles from the store. A similar incident has happened recently in Burlington, Mass.

Meanwhile, over in Knoxville, Tennessee, three “yutes” have been arrested following a recent spate of game store robberies, including two separate GameStop locations in Turkey Creek and Clinton Highway. A locally owned Game-Haven store situated in Kingston Pike was also robbed of videogames and equipment amounting to several thousands of dollars.

Over in Southern California, two opportunistic teens were accosted after twice committing armed robbery at a GameStop store in Victorville – within a week. The first robbery took place at gunpoint on Friday, Dec 07, with the return strike dated on Tuesday, Dec 11. Interestingly, the criminal duo spent their three-day interlude hitting similar game stores in Hesperia and Apple Valley. Local police authorities have outlined that the pair hauled around $5,000 worth of videogames, consoles, and cash. No one was hurt during the attacks.

Sadly, GameStop’s recent run of poor Christmas luck continues with a store in Columbia, South Carolina, having also fallen foul to criminal intent when a trio of gun-toting men incapacitated store employees with duct tape restraints before then embarking on a leisurely 15-minute shopping spree. The local Sheriff’s department is yet to apprehend the men, who apparently “were laid back,” as they picked out several units of the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo DS.

Just to show that GameStop is not necessarily the store of choice for Christmas thieves, a Kmart in Oakland Park, Florida, has recently been subjected to a two-month long inside job that saw employees stealing various types of electronic equipment – including PS3s, PS2s, and Xbox 360s – worth a total of around $15,000 USD. Five men were arrested in the matter and each now faces up to five years in prison.

It’s worth noting that the Nintendo Wii doesn’t figure once in any of these robberies, which perhaps reinforces the notion that Nintendo’s latest console is simply not available in the majority of videogame stores. It remains to be seen if any needy thieves are prepared to take on some of the bigger retail outlets, which are rumoured to be sitting on stockpiles of the Wii prior to the final Christmas rush.

In related news, a shipment of the eagerly anticipated videogame Rock Band was this week hijacked by gunmen as it made its way to Michigan. The truck driver was forced to pull over on the Pormona Freeway in California, at which point the thieves entered the cab and blindfolded him while making off with the shipment, which included 1,000 copies of the new game. Driven to an unknown location, the driver was eventually given instructions not to remove his restraints until fifteen minutes had passed, during which time the men had unloaded their haul and departed.

Rock Band is set for release on December 18 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Xbox 360.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.