Of course, that's not the actual value of what they found. That would be just insane. Instead, they found three truckloads' worth of LEGOs, with an estimated total value of $200,000.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images
"All right, people, I want to see thick-soled shoes! That carpet's gonna
be covered in bricks; I won't lose another man!"
Just 48 hours before they were caught, a woman in Nassau County, New York, was arrested for stealing 800 LEGO sets (total value: $59,000) from a Long Island collector and attempting to sell them on eBay. In 2005, a man was arrested in Oregon for forging barcodes that enabled him to buy $100 LEGO sets for just $19. Officials estimated he had stolen over $600,000 in LEGOs in a span of three years. And then we have the Australian gang that specialized in crime-movie caliber LEGO heists. They attacked stores at night, armed with special tools and vans with covered license plates. They started by removing the front doors or grinding their way through steel bars, then looted all of the LEGO sets -- and nothing more. Sure, they've managed to lift only $30,000 worth of merchandise so far, but still, somewhere in Australia a group of hardened criminals is actually living a game of LEGO: The Departed.
The reason LEGOs are gaining popularity in the criminal underworld is simple: everybody loves fun. No, but seriously: they're less challenging to steal than straight cash, easier to fence than jewelry, and in case you have to sit on your stash for a while, they hold value. Large sets are always in demand, and the resale value can even increase over time. Plus, if you get caught, the sentence can be light: Thomas Langenbach, a former vice president at a large tech company who inexplicably turned to a life of LEGO-related crime, was caught pulling a variation of the barcode stunt in 2012. He made some $30,000 in illicit LEGO sales, yet ended up doing only one month in prison and five under house arrest.
Mountain View Police
Five months in a house full of LEGOs hardly seems like a punishment.
Of course, much like Tide, LEGO is also being used as an alternate currency. At least one drug dealer in Amsterdam started accepting LEGOs as payment. Which raises the question: what's wrong with actual currency? If there's one thing we thought drug dealers loved, it was money.
E. Reid Ross is a columnist at Man Cave Daily. You can also follow him on Twitter here.
For more crimes fit for a movie screen, check out 5 Real Bank Heists Ripped Right Out of the Movies. And then check out Everyday Life If One Crime Were Suddenly Legal.
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