North Side business owner loses thousands in merchandise to overnight burglars

Owner of Sports Cards Plus looking to beef up security

SAN ANTONIO – The owner of a North Side collectibles business that was targeted overnight by burglars says he has lost tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise.

San Antonio police responded to a ringing burglar alarm around 4 a.m. Monday at Sports Cards Plus, which is located in the 2200 block of Lockhill-Selma.

RELATED: 4 suspects break into sports collectibles store, steal merchandise, police say

They found the glass on the front door shattered.

The burglars broke through the glass door, then climbed inside and stole items off the shelves. (KSAT 12 News)

The business owner, Charlie Dipietro, says he also had received a call about the alarm, then saw an eyeful by way of his surveillance cameras.

“They were scattering and running around. It looks, kind of, haphazard but they seemed to know what’s expensive and what’s not,” he said.

Dipietro says he could see four men, dressed all in black, ravaging his shop.

“Grabbing boxes, putting them in bags. They came with some trash bags,” he said.

The burglars, he said, were driving a U-Haul truck.

Dipietro believes they had plans to clear everything out of his shop.

Instead, they took mostly boxes of football and basketball cards, as well as some other high-end merchandise.

“Stuff that, if they wanted to sell it, they’re not gonna sell it at a flea market,” he said. “It’s gonna be sold on the internet.”

Police responded to a report of a ringing burglary alarm at Sports Cards Plus, then found the glass on the front door shattered." (KSAT 12 News)

Dipietro says he believes the crooks got scared off for some reason. When they ran off, they left behind one of the trash bags that they had stuff with items from his shelves.

They also left behind a mess, which Dipietro and some of his family members were still cleaning up hours later.

“It took me 30 years to build it to where it is today,” he said. “I think they’re callous individuals. They just don’t care.”

Dipietro says he is considering ways to beef up security at the shop to protect what he has left.

He says this is the sixth time his business has been burglarized.

Just last week, someone tried unsuccessfully to break in by sawing through a metal side door.

To solve this latest crime, Dipietro says he plans to offer a reward through Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (210) 224-STOP (7867), or the San Antonio Police Department at (210) 207-7273.

About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.