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Stealing Legos for fun and profit? 139

Posted by Hemos
from the the-joy-of-connections dept.
Mad_Rain writes "Every nerd I know had (or still has) a fairly extensive Lego collection. But I don't think most would go so far as to steal $200,000 worth of Legos. When police arrived to carry away the evidence from his home, they needed a 20-foot-long truck. They found in the car of the accused a laptop computer that had a list of Target stores that he was planning to defraud along with the mapping software on how to get there."
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Stealing Legos for fun and profit?

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  • hehe. (Score:5, Funny)

    by carlmenezes (204187) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:39AM (#14126633) Homepage
    So I guess the charges STUCK? :)
  • Ruh-Row (Score:5, Funny)

    by binaryspiral (784263) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:41AM (#14126644)
    A Target security guard stopped Swanberg at a Portland-area store on Nov. 17

    And he would have gotten away with it too... if it weren't for those meddling kids and their dog!
  • tsk tsk (Score:5, Funny)

    by nemik (909434) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:53AM (#14126700) Homepage
    and the evidence will just keep stacking up against him.
  • by dirtsurfer (595452) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:08AM (#14126771) Journal
    So that's like, what, four starwars sets?
  • I hope he at least got one of those foot tall yoda's http://www.fbtb.net/sets/index.asp?page=set&set=71 94 [fbtb.net]
  • There were no stories and now all of the sudden there are like 5 in a row!
    • "There were no stories and now all of the sudden there are like 5 in a row!"

      I think they set the story to post at 7:32 pm instead of am. As a result, we had to wait for the clock to roll around before the stories behind it would show up. Of course, I could be wrong, but I did 'back' a few times and noticed the time hasn't changed on it.
  • I think this lego guy stole all the articles for today, and they found them stuck in a lego brick jail.
  • by syousef (465911) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:33AM (#14126903) Journal
    But I don't think most would go so far as to steal $200,000 worth of Legos. When police arrived to carry away the evidence from his home, they needed a 20-foot-long truck.

    Why do you need a truck to move 10 lego sets?
    • The truck was made of lego bricks itself.
  • by nizo (81281) * on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:35AM (#14126909) Homepage Journal
    I just realized why there are so few replies to this story so far: everyone here is out trying to figure out how they can get their hands on $200,000 worth of legos. I could build my own home addition with all those; that would be awesome.
  • by Arryck (925325) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:37AM (#14126915)
    "...a list of Target stores that he was planning to defraud..."

    Can you really blame him? The store's name is Target. Their logo is that of a target. Their mascot is a dog with a bull's-eye encircling one eye, looking as though it's in an abusive relationship. Oh, and those damn commercials. Clearly, this company is just asking for abuse.
  • RFID.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Joe Random (777564) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:39AM (#14126922)
    The guy didn't exactly steal the legos (or LEGO bricks, for the anal-retentative). He pulled the ol' UPC-swap trick on the store. What do you want to bet the retail market will use cases like this to try to push for RFID tagging of products? "If we only had RFID tags in all of the products we sell this never would have happened, and we would have saved our shareholders tons of money."
    • Re:RFID.... (Score:1, Interesting)

      by fishbowl (7759)


      "The guy didn't exactly steal the legos (or LEGO bricks, for the anal-retentative). He pulled the ol' UPC-swap trick on the store."

      It's shoplifting, which is theft, so he did *exactly* steal them. The point when the crime is committed is when you switch the price tag concealed from the merchant. (It would be legal to switch the tags with the merchant's consent -- it's the point of concealment where it becomes shoplifting.)

    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday November 28, 2005 @03:09AM (#14127183)
      Need that one elusive piece? Just whip out the home RFID reader and point at your cases! Now you know right where it is, and can even do quick binary searches on piles of legos.

      I wonder how many RFID tags a reader can pick out? Does a mass of different ones swamp a reader? Kind of an interesting question all by itself.
    • The guy didn't exactly steal the legos (or LEGO bricks, for the anal-retentative). He pulled the ol' UPC-swap trick on the store.

      And how exactly is this not stealing?

      • I don't think, I don't think I'm explaining this very well. Um, this 7-11, right? If you take a penny from the tray...
      • Re:RFID.... (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        He PAID for them. Stealing usually involved NOT paying, but this guy DID pay.

        Just not the right amount.
  • by kiddailey (165202) on Monday November 28, 2005 @02:00AM (#14127008) Homepage

    So THIS is really what went wrong with Lego Mindstorms [slashdot.org]... this guy has been stealing all the sets! ;)
  • by shri (17709) <shriramcNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 28, 2005 @02:07AM (#14127034) Homepage
    Federal and state authorities will move aggressively to ban mapping software.

    Sheriff Clancy Wiggum noted a sharp increase in teenagers and middle management types who have been recently arrested with print outs of maps taken from online sources like Google.Com and Yahoo.Com. "Easy access to information like this has to stop!" said Sheriff Wiggum, noting that from now on only donut stores and brothels should be shown on maps.

  • by BMIComp (87596)
    I wonder if this is what he looks like now...
  • He sells them?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Monday November 28, 2005 @02:46AM (#14127137) Homepage Journal
    The story says he has sold $600k worth of legos. Damn, he's just a run-of-the-mill crook, in it merely for the profit. I was hoping the story would explain what kind of totally insane thing he wanted to build that needed $200k worth of legos. Like he was building a whole house or something. Drat.
  • If a Lego set costs $99 at the store but $1 to make, how much did this guy really steal... was it $200,000 worth of product or $2,000. And if he paid more than $2,000 for it (which it sounds like he did) is it really stealing at all?

    Let's just call him the Robin Hood of Lego Land and move on with our lives.
  • by CowsAnonymous (697884) on Monday November 28, 2005 @03:27AM (#14127228)
    I actually worked in Lego's packaging plant in Enfield, Conn. USA for awhile. Apparently, the summer I was working there someone was stealing a bunch of new Star Wars sets off of the line and selling them on ebay. They found out soon after, of course, because he was using an ebay account with his home phone number.
  • Mapping software? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jiawen (693693)
    "...along with the mapping software on how to get there."

    Is use of Mapquest now prima facie evidence of intent to commit a crime?

    • It is at least "suspicious" if you stole something from a few Target stores, and the maps all point to other Target stores.

      But of course, it shows "intend", not evidence.
      • Well, to be relevant, a piece of evidence has to have (at least) the slighest tendency to make something more or less likely to be true. I'd say the maps pin-pointing the Target stores makes it at least slightly more likely that this guy was pulling off this scam that affected Target stores...

        Also, it doesn't show "intend" [sic]. If anything, it would show a "common plan or scheme," but since that's only applicable to character evidence, it's immaterial here.
  • Half of the story reads like a police blotter, the other half reads like ad copy for LEGO. Anyone wanna go holiday shopping?
  • With all those lego bricks, they surely could've just built one. ;)
  • by Ezza (413609) on Monday November 28, 2005 @04:34AM (#14127343)
    The article falsely states:

    "Records of the Lego collector's Web site, Bricklink.Com, show that Swanberg has sold nearly $600,000 worth of Legos since 2002, said Dolyniuk"

    Some people sell stolen goods on ebay, but ebay is not THEIR website.

    Bricklink is a marketplace to buy/sell new/used lego kits, parts etc, but having an account on bricklink doesn't make it YOUR website.

    Grr.
    • Ah, parsing English.

      "Records of (the (Lego collector's Web site), Bricklink.Com) ..."

      not

      "Records of ((the Lego collector's) Web site, Bricklink.Com) ..."
    • This is what happens when we don't teach punctuation in school.

          collector's -> collectors'

      and suddenly it all makes sense.
  • Eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bnjf (207794)
    What's a Legos? [adrants.com]
  • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Monday November 28, 2005 @06:17AM (#14127551) Homepage
    The missed point here is: Lego is now so expensive that it is worth stealing. When child's toy bricks get into the same crime bracket as alcohol and tobacco, something is wrong.

    This isn't a case for RFID. This is a case for making Lego less expensive.
  • In other news, thousands of nerds listed their boxes of old legos on ebay today, now knowing their collections are worth thousands each.

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