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Break-in at I Got Game store rallies support from around the nation

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OGDENSBURG — About $3,000 in cash and merchandise was stolen from the I Got Game store at 205 Ford St. between 10 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The loss is hard for the fledgling to business to swallow, but gamers from across the nation have begun rallying to support the store in the wake of the robbery.

Christopher G. Pray, owner of the store, which opened June 8, said he was greeted by a smashed window when he arrived at work Tuesday morning.

The thief or thieves made off with Mr. Pray’s cash deposit box and cellphone, a PlayStation 3, PlayStation controllers and the store’s entire Xbox and PlayStation 3 game collection.

Mr. Pray said he has been in touch with other game stores in St. Lawrence County about the break-in so they can be on the lookout for the stolen items in case the culprit tries to sell them.

Ogdensburg police are investigating the break-in, but said so far no leads have been established.

It’s unclear how many people were involved or exactly what time it occurred, police said.

Mr. Pray said his inventory was not yet insured.

The store also was not protected by a security system, though Mr. Pray said he is taking steps to have a system installed this week.

The incident might have been devastating to any other new business, but Tuesday might also have been Mr. Pray’s lucky day.

The store is getting support from gamers around the nation to recover from the loss, thanks to Brenda L. Romero, an Ogdensburg native who works in the gaming industry in California.

Mrs. Romero and her husband, A. John Romero, happened to be staying in the city this week to catch up with old friends in between speaking engagements. She heard about the break-in and visited I Got Game on Tuesday afternoon.

A former employee at the Ogdensburg office of video game development company Sir-Tech, Mrs. Romero said she was excited to hear about a store catering to gamers of all sorts finally opening in the city.

“Ogdensburg needs a game store,” Mrs. Romero said.

To help the store get back on its feet, Mr. and Mrs. Romero have begun contacting industry leaders to obtain donations to replace the stolen goods, as well as collecting copies of games autographed by the people who made them.

To get the ball rolling, Mr. Romero signed and donated a copy of “Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows,” a PlayStation 2 game he worked on as the project lead.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Mrs. Romero had put I Got Game in touch with industry insiders working on the “Gears of War” franchise as well as people looking to make donations to the rebuilding effort on PayPal.

Mr. Romero, who worked on classic games such as “Doom,” “Quake” and “Wolfenstein 3D,” also is sending the store a signed copy of “Masters of Doom,” a book published by Random House focusing on how Mr. Romero and his colleague John D. Carmack changed the gaming industry.

Mr. Pray said he is going to try to press on with the business, and support from fellow gamers is welcome.

I Got Game will host a “Magic: The Gathering” tournament at 5 p.m. Friday. Entrance to the tournament is $5 and more information can be found on the store’s Facebook page.

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