Police track down more than $200,000 in stolen Lego

Updated

Police recovered 4,153 stolen Lego sets worth more than $200,000 after a monthslong investigation in Oregon, officials said Tuesday.

Ammon Henrikson, the 47-year-old owner of a store called Brick Builders in Eugene, allegedly knowingly bought new, unopened sets of Lego that had been stolen from other stores, the Springfield Police Department said.

Suspects would steal the sets, then bring them straight to Brick Builders in exchange for cash, police said. Brick Builders staff would buy the stolen sets "most often at a fraction of their actual retail value."

Investigators said they learned many of the Lego thieves used the cash to buy illegal drugs.

Some pricey sets retail for a whopping $849.99 on the Lego website. Police said several of the stolen sets found at the store had retail values of over $700. A spokesperson added that resale values for some of the Lego sets were well over $1,000 on independent online marketplaces, like eBay.

Images of the Lego loot shared by police show a huge pile of the toys. Other pictures shared by officials show Lego officers arresting a Lego criminal and a Lego police cruiser.

An image shared by the Springfield Police Department shows a Lego police officer arresting a Lego suspect.  / Credit: Springfield Police Department
An image shared by the Springfield Police Department shows a Lego police officer arresting a Lego suspect. / Credit: Springfield Police Department

Authorities said they worked with loss prevention officers from Target, Fred Meyer, Barnes & Noble and Walmart to find the Legos.

"We all feel the impact of organized retail theft through the increasing cost of items we buy for our families. Recognizing this, SPD's Crime Reduction Unit, with the support of our retail partners, works diligently to hold accountable those who make the choice to engage in or support retail theft," Chief Andrew Shearer said in a Facebook post.

Henrikson was charged with organized retail theft and theft by receiving. Police also arrested Albert Nash, 57, describing him as an accomplice and an employee.

In January, a new law went into effect imposing harsher penalties for those convicted of retail theft, CBS affiliate KOIN-TV reported.

A Lego police car sits in front of a stack of stolen Lego sets recovered in an image shared by the Springfield Police in Oregon. / Credit: Springfield Police Department
A Lego police car sits in front of a stack of stolen Lego sets recovered in an image shared by the Springfield Police in Oregon. / Credit: Springfield Police Department

Police have made several Lego-related busts in recent months. A California task force in April seized about $300,000 worth of stolen Lego sets throughout several raids. Last month, a 71-year-old man was arrested after police found nearly 3,000 boxes of stolen Lego sets sets at his California home.

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