Those Tiny Lego Bricks Mean Big Bucks for Thieves

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An employee of Danish firm Lego models
Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images
Everything is not awesome in Legoland.

Thieves around the country are capitalizing on the popularity of the plastic toy sets, whose enduring success was accelerated by the success of "The Lego Movie" this year.

Police in Arizona last week reported making arrests connected to an alleged Lego theft ring. Police said they discovered $200,000 worth of Lego sets in the home of suspect Troy Koehler, 40, as well as in storage units he had rented. "His garage was filled from floor to ceiling, front to back," Phoenix police officer James Holmes said at a news conference.

Other grown-ups charged in the Arizona Lego thefts allegedly were responsible for walking out of Toys R Us stores in the Phoenix area with $40,000 in Lego sets. Police said they would remove theft-deterrent devices and then either hide the sets under other merchandise or in gift bags. Their alleged thievery was captured on store surveillance video, police said.

Police said Koehler had the equivalent of three truckloads of Lego sets after buying them from the theft ring for about one-quarter of their actual prices. He was selling sets online for up to $500 apiece.

Sets Stolen on Long Island, Australia

In New York last week, a 53-year-old woman was charged with stealing about 800 Lego sets worth nearly $60,000 from a storage facility on Long Island. Nassau County Police said Gloria Haas tried to sell the Lego sets on eBay (EBAY). Most of them were recovered.

Lego thievery isn't a U.S.-only problem. Australian authorities this spring were investigating multiple Lego thefts involving more than $30,000 worth of the toys.


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jabaileydc

I heard a news segment where in some parts of England, legos have been washing ashore for years. Apparently, there's a stretch of ocean there that really flips these cargo ships around, causing some of the containers to fall into the ocean. With each tide, a new batch of legos appear on the beaches!

August 19 2014 at 12:57 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Probably the only construction materials people can afford after this great recession.

August 18 2014 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bjg123gordon

Hay, I live in Arizona. I think I seen his add on cragslist. I live on other side of town from his post and it was to far to drive. This explains why he sold $15 for $5, $100 to $80 sets for $40. What slez balls arrest all his friends too.

August 18 2014 at 9:39 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
cenvalref

What dumb shyt buys Legos for $500.00

August 18 2014 at 5:36 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to cenvalref's comment
gee.effwye

How much do you pay for yours?

August 18 2014 at 8:25 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
moorlockx

A quick check on Ebay shows that in the past 2 months over 1300 listings sold for $500, or more. The highest priced single item sold for over $12,000.

August 19 2014 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gee.effwye

Kragle

August 18 2014 at 3:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply