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Californian police recover over 2,800 stolen Lego sets

Lego theft news
Images – LAPD.

Californian authorities have arrested two individuals in connection with a large-scale Lego theft ring after discovering over 2,800 stolen Lego sets in a Long Beach home.

The bust, announced by police on Friday, revealed boxes of Lego stacked to the ceiling, with the stolen sets ranging in value from $20 to over $1,000.

Richard Siegel, 71, and Blanca Gudino, 39, were apprehended following an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department that linked them to a series of organised retail thefts.

The investigation began in December after a store reported repeated thefts and identified Gudino as a suspect. This week, police observed Gudino taking items from the same retailer in various locations and delivering them to Siegel’s residence in Long Beach.

A search of Siegel’s home on Wednesday uncovered more than 2,800 Lego boxes, meticulously organised and stacked to the ceiling, even covering artwork and a fireplace. During the search, potential buyers, attracted by Siegel’s online advertisements, arrived at the house to purchase the stolen sets.

The stolen Lego sets included highly sought-after items from popular franchises such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Back to the Future. Notable sets found included the Millennium Falcon, valued at nearly $850, and R2-D2 sets, priced between $100 and $200.

Richard Siegel has been charged with organised retail theft, while Blanca Gudino faces a charge of grand theft. Lego thefts is a growing trend, as the sets have gained popularity among adult collectors and hobbyists, making them lucrative targets for organised crime rings.

The incident is part of a larger pattern of Lego-related thefts across the United States. In April, authorities in California arrested four suspects connected to approximately $300,000 in stolen Lego merchandise. Similarly, a specialty store in southern California reported more than $100,000 worth of Lego stolen earlier this year.

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