Lego thefts driven by demand for pricey toys
Published Wednesday, December 2, 2015 11:12AM EST
A Vancouver toy shop recently had its door bashed in by a masked intruder who sought only one thing: a single box of Lego.
“We were just amazed. All this for one Lego set? Really?” Joanna Mileos, owner of the Granville Island Toy Company, told CTV Vancouver.
Police have analyzed security video of the brazen break-in, but have not yet located a suspect.
The Lego larceny is part of a spate in similar crimes in Canada and the U.S. as the toy’s popularity and price-point continue to rise, with some sets fetching more than $1,000 online.
In November, a Wal-Mart in Squamish, B.C. was robbed of Lego on two occasions. Police say the suspects loaded up several carts full of the plastic toys before driving off.
A suspect was later arrested in West Vancouver after allegedly speeding through a construction zone, police said. When the vehicle was stopped, police allegedly saw the driver remove a large quantity of Lego boxes from the vehicle.
“We recovered over $3,000 worth of the merchandise, the Lego,” Squamish RCMP Sgt. Jolaine Percival told CTV Vancouver.
One week later, Squamish RCMP arrested two more suspects after they were alerted to a Lego theft in progress.
A Toys “R” Us in Hamilton, Ont. was similarly targeted last month, with suspects stealing $20,000 worth of Lego gear, police said.
Long considered a childhood favourite, Lego is sometimes resold for exorbitant prices. For instance, the Star Wars Super Star Destroyer, labelled a “retired” product on Lego’s website, is listed at more than $1,000 on some online shops.
In Metro Vancouver, dozens of Lego sets are for sale online through websites such as Craigslist, with some sets priced for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
With files from CTV Vancouver