Woman arrested for $60,000 in LEGO larceny

A New York woman was arrested for allegedly stealing 800 LEGO sets and trying to resell them on eBay. But she isn't the first LEGO thief.

(Jason DeCrow/AP Images for LEGO Systems)
Benny the Spaceman and Astro Kitty blastoff in a retro 80s-something LEGO spaceship at the American International Toy Fair, Feb. 16, 2014, in New York. Benny's Spaceship sells for about $100.

A New York woman is charged with stealing 800 Lego sets worth almost $60,000 and trying to sell them on eBay.

Gloria Haas, of Island Park, was arraigned Friday on charges of grand larceny.

Nassau County detectives say the 53-year-old woman lifted the toy sets from a storage facility in Island Park and took them to another storage facility in Rockville Centre.

Authorities say Haas was trying to sell the sets on eBay.

Haas isn't the first to target LEGO sets and resell them online. 

Thomas Langenbach, who was a vice president at SAP Labs' Integration & Certification Center, was convicted of burglary last year for stealing LEGOs from Target and reselling them online. He was able to buy the LEGOs at low prices by sticking his own fake bar codes on LEGO boxes over existing ones.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that when police searched the Silicon Valley exec's $2 million home, they found hundreds of LEGO sets:

"In his house, we found hundreds of boxes of unopened Lego sets," said Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View police. "He sold 2,100 items in just over a year on eBay, and made $30,000. The motive was clearly money. Why does he want the money? I don't know. I can think of a million different possible scenarios. For some people it's boredom. For some it's a compulsive thing." Langenbach's eBay selling handle was "tomsbrickyard."

In June, The Daily Telegraph in Australia reported that a series of LEGO thefts had occurred at five toy stores in New South Wales and Victoria. An estimated $70,000 worth of LEGOs had been stolen.

In one theft, "the bandit stole $20,000 worth of Lego bricks, using a trolley to transport 300 boxes through the front door," reported the Telegraph. Police put out a description of the suspect: "Aged between 50 to 60, with a medium build, 167cm tall and was wearing dark trousers, a long sleeve shirt and a cap."

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