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Thieves cash in stolen Lego sets across states

Image by REUTERS

Thieves cash in stolen Lego sets across states

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Aug 17, 2014

Lego sets are no longer just for kids ... they're for thieves too.

A 53-year-old New York woman was arraigned on Long Island Friday after allegedly stealing an estimated $60,000 worth of Lego sets. She faces grand larceny charges for attempting to sell the toys on eBay.

Gloria Haas allegedly lifted about 800 sets from a Long Island storage facility.

In Phoenix, police arrested four people—a male real estate professional, two women and another male—also allegedly involved with Lego thefts. It reportedly took officers 10 hours in Arizona on Friday to load $250,000 worth of Lego sets onto trucks to haul away from the scene. At least $40,000 worth of the sets are believed to have been stolen.

"Police said one man bought expensive Lego sets at a discount from shoplifters and resold them online. Each of the play sets taken were valued at $100 or more," reports CNN. The suspect allegedly hired accomplices to go into Toys R Us stores and shoplift the prime Lego sets.

"The boxes in which the toys came would be damaged and turned over to the online seller, who would return to the store and buy a new set," CNN explains. "The online seller later allegedly used the real receipt for the purchase to return the damaged box set. He pocketed the money and sold the stolen Lego sets online to collectors, [outlet] KPHO reported."

The suspects in Arizona face multiple charges including retail theft and trafficking stolen property. They are also facing charges for fraudulent schemes and illegal control of an enterprise.

The Danish toy company reaped $1.1 billion in profit last year for the 80-year-old toy. "'The Lego Movie,' which was released in February, made $69 million in its opening weekend and has grossed more than $250 million so far, according to Box Office Mojo," further reports CNN.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.