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Four people steal $200k in Lego from area TRU

starfire2starfire2 Member Posts: 1,333
edited August 2014 in Everything else LEGO
PD: $200K in legos found in Phoenix theft bust
on Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:49 PM MST


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Police believed four individuals participated in the theft and sale of nearly $200,000 Lego products from multiple Phoenix metro "Toys R Us" stores. Image courtesy of Phoenix police.
Phoenix police have recovered an estimated $200,000 in Lego products, and arrested four people, during a months-long retail theft investigation.

In the 4 1/2-month investigation, police discovered that Garry Fairbee and Tarah Dailey, both 35, stole multiple Lego play sets from many Phoenix area "Toys R Us" stores, according to Officer James Holmes, spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department.

Each of the play sets taken were valued at $100 or more, according to police.

Comments

  • starfire2starfire2 Member Posts: 1,333
    ^Thanks for that, I had a hard time uploading the story.
  • thenosthenos Member Posts: 444
    edited August 2014
    So do you prosecute on the TRU value or the real value?
    madforLEGObobabrickskor
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,987
    The article claims they recovered 200k in Lego, but that 40k are believed to be stolen.
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 1,144
    ^^
    The above link now has a video of the story. Not all of the $200k of Lego were stolen......police claim about 20% were stolen. Looks like the reseller was trying to get more product on the cheap.
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 1,144
  • LegoManiaccLegoManiacc Member Posts: 116
    edited August 2014
    ^I must not have a criminal's mind or know enough about money laundering...why would he buy a set and take back the stolen damaged set with his legit receipt?
  • Thanos75Thanos75 Member Posts: 1,120
    I wonder what the police does with all of the seized sets after the case is closed. Do they return them to TRU or sell them at the police auctions?
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    I know I'm going to keep an eye on the Arizona Goodwill auction site for the next few months ;)
  • legogallegogal Member Posts: 754
    So has anyone figured out how they stole the LEGO from TRU? The photos included many large boxes, so it would be interesting to know if this was an inside job by an employee of TRU. Employee theft ias a real problem in most retail stores.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 502
    @legogal, that was my question, too! How does one remove/steal such large sets? I wonder if they were using the home-made scan system? inside job/help? just recognized lazy store workers not watching the doors? So many questions!
  • ArtfulDodgerArtfulDodger Member Posts: 105
    He would have other people steal the sets, which would damage them. Then he'd go in, buy a new set, then go back and return the damaged set and get his money back. Then he would sell the new set.

    Toys R Us should probably institute a policy of scanning the driver's license on lego returns to prevent that sort of thing. I'm guessing that eventually they put the dots together, and the guy's greed at trying to resell "mint" sets instead of damaged sets caught up to him.
  • LegoManiaccLegoManiacc Member Posts: 116
    edited August 2014
    ^I see, so when they were smuggled out they would get smashed or squished so bad that he didn't want to resell them in that condition.

    So if you bought a damaged box set from a TRU in that city anytime in the last few months, wash your hands really good after handling that box, those weren't watermelons that caused that damage. :-/
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 1,144
    From what I've been reading, only about $40K is suspected of being stolen. The rest were bought and/or obtained in other means that have yet to be identified as being non-legit.

    I think this guy wanted to make better profits by adding stolen goods to his inventory.

    This person's eBay account states, "This seller is currently away, and is not processing orders at this time. You can add this item to your watch list to purchase later."

  • LegoPodcasterLegoPodcaster Member Posts: 115
    Just ran across this article about a woman stealing 60k dollars worth of LEGO from a storage facility in New York. It seems stealing LEGO sets is all the rage these days.

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Police-Lego-Heist-Was-Worth-60k-Nassau-County-Rockville-Centre-Gloria-Haas-271528111.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_NYBrand
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,308
    edited August 2014
    My TRU staff told me that people will just walk out of the store with full carts of Lego and that there is nothing they can do.
  • legogallegogal Member Posts: 754
    Not surprised to hear that @margot. Our Lowe's Home Improvement store does the same thing. They fire employees who try to stop thieves because an employee must have been killed or a thief injured by them sued the store. Whatever. Very, very sad because the rest of us get to foot the bill for the stolen goods.
  • NorlegoNorlego Member Posts: 449
    Can someone explain how this works in practice.
    1. Lego is stolen. Box get bashed.
    2. Guy goes and buys set in shop.
    3. Goes back with stolen set to get new.

    The problem i have is why a shop would replace a bashed set bought in a shop. Posted set maybe, but not one from a shop as bashed sets would be reduced in price.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    edited August 2014
    ^It is called Customer Service :)

    My mother is an Assistant Manager at a Walmart. She says they can't do anything to a person if they walk out of the store with stolen goods. The only thing they can do is wait until they leave the store and call the police/alert security. Many stores here actually have a police office on the premises.

    Walmart also has a policy where they don't prosecute anyone for theft under $25.

  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    How does it take 4 1/2 months to catch someone who is stealing Lego sets?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    ^I have always thought the same thing. My mother is constantly involved in stings at Walmart. She knows what is going on, but is instructed by higher-ups to let the theft happen until they have enough evidence to convict. Usually, it is the employees that are helping others steal. Recently, there was a cashier that was helping another person do something with Walmart gift cards.
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    Pitfall69 said:

    Usually, it is the employees that are helping others steal.

    ^ You might just have hit on the reason why X amount was stolen. Pick up pile of sets, go to accomplice cashier, cashier scans some (but not all) items, pay for items, leave. This would result in $$$ value of items, some paid for, some not.

    @Crowkillers An investigation might need to last months if they suspect something more is going on, in order to accrue evidence to enable prosecution for an appropriate severity of crime... i.e. move in too quick, and all you'd catch is one or two suspects on a minor shoplifting charge for a few hundred dollars worth of stolen goods. Monitor over months, and you might get a truer picture of the operation, potentially discovering a team or network of accomplices, and a much more severe charge to hit them with, if they're found to be shifting hundreds of thousands worth.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    That news bit seemed more like a commercial for the Sunset Speeder than anything else.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    There was just recently a crack head that was stealing Lego from my Walmart and they finally got him after the 4th day of stealing(Over $2,000 worth over the 4 days)... It is just crazy that you see people that pay for their items getting stopped because something set the alarm at the door off, but someone else is freely moving items out the door with no one noticing...
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Member Posts: 4,027
    They do plenty to stop thieving at Toys R Us UK, well in Yorkshire anyway.

    On a visit three months back they had a pair locked up. They passed through a set of sliding doors which were instantly locked before approaching the outer doors which had already been locked. Nice instant jail cell with nowhere to go. Called the police and just waited for them to arrive. More than likely broke some laws by detaining them but they had watched on camera as they hid items inside clothing and it was non violent so I would call it a good result.
    cheshirecat
  • KirstyL21KirstyL21 Member Posts: 27
    Here in SA many stores have security at the exit doors. They check the items on the cash slip against the items you have in your bags and stamp the slips as checked. This is most prevalent in our Toy Zones, Makro (the SA version of Walmart) and CD stores. Yes we still have those here .... For now at least. So in order to buy 10 sets and only pay for 5 would need more staff on the take. Am sure it still happens!
  • NorlegoNorlego Member Posts: 449
    What i dont understand is how you can bring bashed sets and get new ones in return. Surely staff must suspect something is fishy as the lego was bought in a shop. So the person bought bashed sets knownly.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    ^I saw your your discussion that you posted earlier and then removed by admins.

    What was the point of that post? Is it your contention that only people in the US steal Lego?
  • NorlegoNorlego Member Posts: 449
    No. But it did happen in the US. Was just having fun really. How someone could think it was serious or be offened is beyond me. Did you really think I wanted to start stealing lego??? I dont need to as I buy used lego very cheap and sell it on expensive....

    I suppose I can handle banter as I sell at carboot sales. My buyers tend to enjoy it too if i am "rude"....
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Is this you?
    roxioBumblepantsNorlego
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331

    On a visit three months back they had a pair locked up. They passed through a set of sliding doors which were instantly locked before approaching the outer doors which had already been locked. Nice instant jail cell with nowhere to go. Called the police and just waited for them to arrive. More than likely broke some laws by detaining them but they had watched on camera as they hid items inside clothing and it was non violent so I would call it a good result.

    I always wondered why Toys-R-Us stores always seemed to have the double sets of door (air lock) exits. Always assumed it was to save energy/money but now I see its to trap shop lifters. Awesome.

  • NorlegoNorlego Member Posts: 449
    Pitfall69 said:

    Is this you?

    I dont think you have been to a car boot sale... A lot of pink in there too... I sell vintage stuff and not in an organised way. Just spread it around really.
  • NorlegoNorlego Member Posts: 449
    #Pitfall69 rather offensive photo of my carboot stall, I decided to take a photo of the real thing. I sell a fair bit of Lego and get OK prices. Sometimes better than Ebay... It goes without saying I mainly sell smaller items like those on the table, big items go to other outlets.
    A lot of buyers accept Lego is expensive so just pay the price. Got rid of #4430 for a good price, too.
    I also buy a fair bit of Lego at the carboot to resell on my stall...
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas Member Posts: 8,404

    They do plenty to stop thieving at Toys R Us UK, well in Yorkshire anyway.

    On a visit three months back they had a pair locked up. They passed through a set of sliding doors which were instantly locked before approaching the outer doors which had already been locked. Nice instant jail cell with nowhere to go. Called the police and just waited for them to arrive. More than likely broke some laws by detaining them but they had watched on camera as they hid items inside clothing and it was non violent so I would call it a good result.

    :). That wouldn't work in Texas...

    To quote Hans Gruber, "shoot the glass". :)
    GothamConstructionCo
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