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Thieves Making a Haul on Lego

Psst! Want a good deal on pallet of 2-by-4s? LEGO is becoming a hot item on the black market.

Photo ©Benjamin Esham

Emmet, a construction worker made out of Lego, might think “everything is awesome,” but he’d be wrong.



“The resurgence in the popularity of the Danish toy appears to have a dark side.”

The Lego Movie brought in $69 million on opening weekend in February. Since then the film has grossed more than $250 million, according to the movie tracking website Box Office Mojo.

But the resurgence in the popularity of the Danish toy appears to have a dark side. It may also be contributing to the theft of the brightly colored blocks. U.S. police have released information about Lego heists across the country, some totaling $300,000. In one Arizona case, officers discovered 18 pallets of Lego, worth more than $18,000, stored in a suspect’s garage. A 53-year-old New York woman was recently arraigned for allegedly stealing nearly $60,000.

The demand for discontinued or specialty sets is even more lucrative for thieves who often sell the sets online. Part of the allure for criminals may be that the blocks are difficult to trace and quick to increase in value.

Police in Australia and England are also hunting down Lego snatchers, some of whom have struck transport trucks before the toys were even delivered to stores.

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