Lego, light of my life, treasure of my toys. My sin, my soul. Le-Go.
For Humbert Humbert, it was Lolita. For Thomas Langenbach, it is — allegedly — Legos. The Silicon Valley executive was arrested this month on suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars worth of the little colored bricks from Target stores in the Bay Area.
How did he go about it? By allegedly putting fake bar codes on expensive sets to secure a steep discount at the register — for example, paying $49.99 for a Star Wars Millennium Falcon Lego set that Target normally sells for $139.99, reports the Los Angeles Times. Then, he allegedly sold them online at a higher price. Since last April, he’s accused of raking in an estimated $30,000, having sold 2,100 Lego items on eBay, reports NBC Bay Area. “This is the first time we’ve ever had a case like this,” a local police spokeswoman said. The game was up when Target caught him in action on surveillance video on May 8th.
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The Lego racket was not purely mercenary. In fact, it appears to be a labor of love: police found the exec’s $2 million home near San Francisco packed with Lego structures he had built himself. There’s no indication he needed the money, either — his LinkedIn page lists him as a vice president at German software company SAP, where he has worked since 1988.
The Lego enthusiast’s hearing is scheduled for June 20. The maximum sentence for such a crime is five years in
Lego Kingdoms Prison Tower jail.
In other Lego news, this week the world’s tallest LEGO tower was unveiled in South Korea. The near-105-foot-tall Legolisk was built by South Korean children to mark the 80th birthday of the Danish toy.