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Thieves steal $300,000 in Lego sets for booming black market, CHP says

Four middle-aged suspects were arrested this week in Southern California when officers found them in possession of stolen Lego sets worth about $300,000, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Yes, Lego sets. The little toy bricks that hurt a lot when you step on them barefoot. Apparently, some people love having them around so much that they are willing to pay an incredible price for the privilege.

The suspects, aged 35 to 47, went to stores including Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s looking for limited edition toy sets, the CHP said. Then they allegedly dispersed their loot to four separate hideouts in Los Angeles and Orange counties, where California Highway Patrol officers executed search warrants Tuesday.

Surprisingly, this is not an isolated incident. Similar thefts were reported in Philadelphia and Green Bay, Wisconsin. A Las Vegas store opening in 2022 and specializing in Lego sets had been hit at least four times by the end of 2023 in what Inside Edition dubbed a national “Lego” wave. Flight.”

Incredibly, rare and exceptionally popular Lego sets trade like precious metals or cryptocurrencies online.

Kits that transform into “Star Wars” spaceships, for example, regularly sell for north of $1,000. A set that transforms into Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon ranges from $1,000 to $4,000, according to the website. Work + Money.

There is no shortage of online reports of Lego thefts – with thieves smashing store glass doors and stomping through toy stores in masks and dark hoodies. A vertically challenged bandit can be seen on security video hopping up and down, desperate to reach the most valuable Lego boxes stored on the top shelf – like good scotch.

The four people arrested this week in Southern California were charged with organized retail theft, grand theft and conspiracy.

If you have information about Lego sets of suspicious origin or any other type of organized retail theft, you can report it to the CHP here.

California Daily Newspapers

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