Two men have been charged with stealing $250,000 in Pokémon cards during a 2022 heist at a Forest Lake store that saw them allegedly pocketing nearly 3,000 packs of the Japanese trading cards.

Dustin Anthony Wittern, 40, of Forest Lake, and Matthew James Cuypers Jr., 40, of Duluth, each received a felony charge for third-degree burglary, filed last week in Washington County.

Officers arrived Feb. 10, 2022, at the Punch-Out Gaming store on Lake Street in Forest Lake, where they learned someone had forced entry overnight by breaking into a vacant store next door and cutting through the drywall to get in, according to the criminal complaint.

Police say a suspect can be seen on the security footage noticing the camera and taking off his glove before placing tape over it. The tape was taken as evidence, as was a utility knife near the drywall hole that had DNA matching that of Wittern, the complaint says.

More than 2,824 sealed packs of new Pokémon cards and other Pokémon merchandise were taken. The initial cost of the products was just under $150,000, but the sale value was around $250,000, store co-owner Eric Johnson said.

In a March 2022 interview for an unrelated federal case for alleged meth distribution, Cuypers admitted to stealing cards from the store, the complaint says.

Cuypers said Wittern knew a buyer who wanted the cards, according to the charges.

Cuypers allegedly admitted to breaking into the business while Wittern stayed outside, before Wittern drove a van to the buyer. The stolen items have not been recovered.

Johnson said the charges come as a relief, after feeling confident for over a year that Wittern and Cuypers were the perpetrators. But he thinks third-degree burglary charges are too lenient.

"These guys need to pay some serious charges for it," he said.

Wittern's attorney declined to comment on the case.