New York Woman Caught Selling $59K Worth of Stolen Lego Toys on eBay Following High Demand Caused by 'The Lego Movie'
A Long Island woman was arrested Thursday after she was found trying to sell 800 stolen Lego play sets online. Nassau County police said Gloria Haas, 53, was in possession of around $59,000 worth of the toys.
Haas allegedly noticed the large amount of Legos in a storage facility rental space where she also has rented storage. According to police, Hass stole the sets from the other customer's spot and moved them to a different storage facility. She then listed the stolen items for sale on eBay.
Authorities tracked the stolen toys back to Haas, and she was arrested around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. The building-block bandit was charged with grand larceny. Records show that Haas was arraigned and released Friday in First District Court in Hempstead.
Officer Jean Deluca, a Nassau police spokeswoman, said most of the Lego boxes were recovered.
Released in February, "The Lego Movie" has made more than $250 million since its debut according to Box Office Mojo, and the Danish toys generated $1.1 billion in profits in 2013, making Legos appealing for thieves.
In Phoenix, four people were arrested for their alleged involvement in a Lego theft scheme. Police spent 10 hours after the arrests loading more than $250,000 worth of Lego sets from a garage onto trucks. Over $40,000 of the Legos were believed to be stolen goods.
"It's hard to believe that two or three people could be taking that much product out of the store, and yet they were," officer James Holmes said to CNN Phoenix affiliate KNXV.
According to another CNN affiliate, KHPO, one of the men arrested was buying expensive Lego play sets, valued at $100 or more for each product, from shoplifters and turning a profit by selling them online.
The thieves would allegedly go to Toys R Us stores to steal the toys, then bring the items to a particular online seller as damaged items. The seller would go to the store to claim a new set, according to police. The new Lego set would be sold online, and the four accomplices pocketed the money.
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