A correctional officer in Alabama was arrested and subsequently terminated from his position after being caught stealing Pokémon cards over the weekend.
Team Rocket vibes: Officer Josh Hardy was still in uniform and had just completed his shift at the Calhoun County jail when he committed the alleged theft around 7 p.m. on Saturday at a Walmart store in Oxford. Hardy has since been taken to the Oxford City Jail and charged with theft.
‘Catch ‘em all’ gone wrong: According to Calhoun County Sheriff Matthew Wade, Walmart’s loss prevention team observed Hardy opening multiple packs of Pokémon cards and placing individual cards into his pockets. The team confronted Hardy after he attempted to leave the store without paying for the items. Hardy, who fled the store on foot, was apprehended by officers from the Oxford Police Department at a nearby restaurant. The stolen Pokémon cards were recovered from his possession.
Not ‘the very best’: Sheriff Wade expressed his disappointment in a news release, stating, “It is with great embarrassment that we have to report this incident, and Hardy has been terminated from the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. He has tarnished our agency and the image of all law enforcement. As Sheriff, I promised to be transparent and hold my staff accountable to a standard higher than average citizens.”
High-value items: Pokémon cards are considered collectibles and those that are printed in limited supply can become very expensive over time. Last year, a rare 1998 Pikachu “Illustrator” holographic Pokémon card sold for $900,000 through New Jersey-based Goldin Auctions.