To My Fellow Members of the Vintage Community:
While on their way to play Vintage this past week/end, Tom Daliapes, Brian Rottenberg, Shawn R. Stroke and Mike Sorrentino had their car broken into. The thieves smashed the back window, opened the door, popped the trunk, and stole all of Tom's, Shawn's, Mike's and Brian's bags, which included their clothes and personal effects for the weekend, in addition to containing the vast majority of Tom's Vintage collection. The total loss is staggering, and would round up towards six figures.
All the local area Ohio stores have been contacted, the dealers at the event this past weekend are all aware, local pawn shops were contacted, dumpsters have been searched, the police were contacted, a report was filed, and while we hope that there will be leads that result in a happy ending, this will likely not be the case. We have no smoking gun, and the thieves adjusted the video cameras facing the vehicle away from it, thus shielding both their license plate and their identity. We do not currently know if this was an inside job, and the product of some members of the Magic community looking to take advantage of their peers, or if this was something else, and perhaps just junkies looking for something to sell to get high.
This is easily the worst loss that I have seen in my time in the Vintage community, which is now longer than I care to admit. As a friend, I'm devastated for all four of them, specifically for Tom, who had cards that he has spent the last 15+ years collecting and has been nearly completely wiped out. As a member of the Vintage community, I am hurt at the prospect of losing four regulars who enjoyed the format, supported local stores and tournament organizers, and helped create the active community that we have here on Long Island.
In times of need, the Vintage community rallies together. The sense of community, reflected in our desire to both welcome newcomers to the format, and protect our own, is something that I have always greatly appreciated. I play one format; Vintage. I only play Vintage, in large part because of this. I believe our community to be the best of the Magic communities; I have seen the Vintage community rally to support their own many, many times in the past, and while I hope to never see something like this again, I hope that if something like this should happen again, we should show our mettle in rallying to those who need our support.
This awful loss is something that sent shockwaves through my local community, and it is something that the members of my local community will all work towards helping with. We cannot replace three sets of power, including a fair amount of Beta power, dozens of dual lands, including many FBB duals, more than a dozen Force of Wills, and much, much more, but we can take steps to show these players that when things like this happen, the community will come together and show their support for their own.
I am asking members of the Vintage community who feel so inclined to help contribute towards rebuilding their decks (either with cards they need, or with cards that they can trade towards cards they need). I have personally put more than $300 towards this already, and will be putting more as the month progresses and we see what needs to be done.
If you are interested in making a contribution, no matter how big or small, I can promise you that it would be appreciated. If you are not in the general vicinity of Long Island, and will not be able to attend one of the events that we will run to help them, The Comic Book Depot has agreed to let us use their mailing address for any donations (which should be marked as donations for Tom, Brian, Mike and Shawn). The Comic Book Depot's mailing address is:
The Comic Book Depot
2847 Jerusalem Ave
If you have any questions, or would like to speak directly with Tom, please feel free to reach out to me; I can either help you, or send you in the right direction.
I will be announcing a benefit event with Alan Paperin of The Comic Book Depot at some point in the next week or two, to be held on 11/27 at the store.
I have known the Vintage community to rise to the occasion and help those in need in the past, I hope to see us all do it one more time, on a grand scale, and show these four guys that we stick together, help each other, and are there for each other when we're most needed.