An arrest warrant has been issued for a man accused of stealing £88-worth of Pokémon cards.

Stephen Belcher, 45, of Claypit Lane, East Challow, was due before Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning (June 27) accused of a single count of theft.

Prosecutors say he stole Pokémon cards worth £88 from Sainsbury’s in Wantage on June 9.

When he was still not at court by mid-afternoon, the magistrates issued a warrant for his arrest.

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Originally launched in Japan in the mid-1990s, the Pokémon video game craze boomed in schools across the world in the late 90s and early 2000s, spawning trading card games and cartoon TV series and films.

The franchise received a second wind with the launch of augmented reality video game Pokémon Go in 2016.

Packs of the trading cards, typically sold at the counter at supermarkets and corner shops, can be bought for a few pounds each.

The game sees players collect different creatures, the most famous of which is yellow plumaged Pikachu, and either trade or fight them against each other.