Early in the morning of January 14, two robbers attacked four separate retail stores in Kent, Washington, by driving a stolen Audi SUV through its front doors. This included GameBound, an independently operated, locally owned store specializing in “all things geeky and nerdy”.
A week later, GameBound was back in business, using the theft to reorganize itself and come back “even better”.
It was the first robbery at the Seattle-area store since owner Kiet Pham opened it in 2017.
“I thought I had everything under control, from the security, the cameras, the sensor, the bars,” Pham told GeekWire. “My store was heavily guarded and locked. The only thing I couldn’t plan was the car.”
The thieves stole several games and consoles from GameBound, in addition to inflicting what Pham estimates to be approximately $22,000 in damage.
The thieves also held up a GameStop, an Xfinity outlet and an eyewear store over the course of the night, using the same SUV.
Pham said he is working with his landlord to install bollards. If they can’t do that, he said they may need to move to a safer area.
According to Pham, every other store in the same retail complex as GameBound has been robbed once or twice in the last two years, with a couple being robbed every month.
Commercial theft in Kent increased by 45% in 2022, according to data from Kent Police.
Last year, Seattle video game store Pink Gorilla also faced theft, but it bounced back and even opened a new location in December.
Pham doesn’t anticipate needing financial help with store repairs, as he also owns an insurance agency and made sure GameBound was well covered.
“It’s good that I wrote a really good policy for myself at the beginning,” Pham said. “I’m lucky. Still, as an insurance professional for 13 years, there are the labor costs and the time costs for cleanup and the deductible.”
Merchandise pulled from GameBound on January 14 includes complete boxed PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, GameCube, Wii, Xbox and Xbox 360 video game consoles; a Game Boy; a Game Boy Color; a Texas Instruments graphing calculator in its original packaging; and various Sega CD and Sega Saturn games. All items were labeled with GameBound stickers.
In addition, the break-in destroyed four glass display cases and display cases, the store’s folding security door, and two items from Pham’s personal collection: original Xbox and PlayStation display kiosks, the kind you might have seen in video games. stores when the systems were new. The kiosks, which will be difficult to repair or replace at best, are the only damage from the robbery that really bothers Pham.
GameBound’s “bread and butter,” according to Pham, is selling used video games, from current releases to old “retro” titles like the Atari. In addition, GameBound offers toys, trading cards and comics.
Pham took to social media last week to spread the word about the break-in and post photos of the two shoplifters that were taken by his store’s security cameras.