BOTHELL, Wash. - Burglars broke into Zulu’s Board Game Café early Thursday morning and got away with about $100,000 worth of merchandise, according to the owner of the family-run business.
The suspect apparently used a rope to get onto the roof and cut all the security cameras, used tools to remove a small sky window to get inside, then stole some of the business's most valuable “Magic: the Gathering” trading cards.
“The cards are going to kill us. That’s a huge part. It’s one of the main pillars that holds us up, the trading card side,” said Matt Zaremba, owner of Zulu’s.
Zulu's carries hundreds of thousands of cards, but they used to carry a lot more before burglars hit their business early Thursday morning.
“One drawer they stole had 35,000 cards in it,” said Christina Sagrelius, an employee at Zulu’s. “They took this drawer, this drawer and this drawer down here,” she said, opening up each empty drawer.
Burglars came in via ROPE through a small sky window & stole ~$100k of product - mostly in #MTG @wizards_magic cards -from Zulu’s Board Game Cafe in #Bothell.— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) March 30, 2019
You see the empty drawers compared to a full one.
But tonight - it’s a full house w/ customers supporting them. #KIRO pic.twitter.com/ope0kZnHpp
“This card is at $160 by itself. We had a lot of them up here that they all took,” Sagrelius said. “They did this knowing it was a family-run store. It’s just like, why would you do that? This is their livelihood,” she said.
Zulu's says it already had a robust security system, with cameras everywhere.
However, they said it's clear whoever did this had been here before. The burglars even stole a hard drive hidden near the ceiling that stored the café’s security footage.
“It blew me away,” Zaremba said.
Customers say the place is special.
“It’s home away from home, you know?” said Hunter Heinze, who was at Zulu’s playing “Magic” Friday.
“It’s upsetting, it really is. We all got respect for these cards, respect for the game, respect for the people who are behind the counter,” Heinze said.
The business said it’s been seeing a rush of community support since Thursday’s break-in, and that's how they know they'll be OK.
“It’s been nonstop. It's a good community. It's why I got into this. The community is the best part,” Zaremba said. “We’ll survive.”
Zulu's has already tightened its security and said it’s working with Bothell police to check the two neighboring banks for surveillance video of the burglars.
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