A 17-time convicted felon stole collector cards worth tens of thousands of dollars from a Lincoln Square business in May, then sold some of them for a fraction of their actual value, according to prosecutors.
After the theft, the owner of Elite Sports Cards & Comics, 2028 West Montrose, went on a media campaign to raise awareness of the theft, hoping that collectors would be on the lookout for anyone attempting to sell the stolen cards. Prosecutors say that the owner’s efforts paid off.
A burglar removed bricks and security bars from the store’s rear window and went inside around 3:45 a.m. on May 31, Block Club reported at the time. Prosecutor Steven Haamid said 32 cards worth $50,000 were taken.
Owner Ronnie Holloway discovered the burglary when he arrived around 9:30 that morning. He pulled up the store’s surveillance video, which showed a man wearing long sleeves, gloves, and a mask clearing out display cases and shelves.
According to Haamid, the owner recognized the figure as a man who had visited the store about five times in recent weeks. The man wore a hoodie and a baseball cap and talked for about 15 minutes before leaving each time.
But by the time the owner arrived at work, some of his stolen cards had already been sold, Haamid said.
Someone contacted a collector about selling high-value cards just two hours after the break-in, and they met at a Dunkin’ Donuts around 8 a.m. to make a deal, according to Haamid. The buyer gave the seller $11,500 in cash and a collectible card worth $7,000 for ten cards that had been stolen from Elite hours before.
Days later, the buyer saw media coverage of the break-in and contacted Elite to report that he had already resold five of the store’s cards but still had five others he purchased during the transaction, according to Haamid.
He turned the remaining items over to police: two Mickey Mantle cards and one each of Babe Ruth, Yogi Berra, and Jim Brown, according to court records. None of the other cards were found. Haamid said Elite’s owner confirmed that the recovered cards were taken from his store.
Police license plate readers and other evidence led investigators to Scott Meherg, 41. According to Haamid, Elite’s owner also confirmed that Meherg was the man who had visited the store several times before the break-in.
During an interview with police, Meherg admitted to selling the cards to the man at Dunkin’, but he denied breaking into the store, Haamid said. His 17 felony convictions include burglaries, forgery, theft, and ID theft, according to Haamid.
Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Meherg lives in Oak Lawn with his wife and three children.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered him to pay a $1,000 bail deposit to get out of jail on the burglary case. She also held him without bail for an arrest warrant out of Indiana. Meherg told her in court that the warrant has been outstanding since 2008.