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Don't use your Toys R Us Rewards Card when stealing Lego!!!

Comments

  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,284
    My goodness.... another one?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    This one is better, rather than swapping out the UPCs, this mother/son team decided to just put expensive Lego sets into cheap product boxes and buy those.

    So they would take a $20 item that comes in a huge box, dump out the contents, put hundreds of dollars of Lego inside that box, then buy that box.

    Stole over $2 Million worth of toys, they had $900,000 in their PayPal account at the time of arrest from selling the Lego on eBay.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    They were tracked across the country because they kept using their Toys R Us Reward card at each store!

    How stupid is that?
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,284
    edited August 2012

    They were tracked across the country because they kept using their Toys R Us Reward card at each store!

    How stupid is that?

    How stupid is any scam? To me, pretty dang stupid.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Well, actually some scams are quite clever... Still criminals, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. ;) So some criminals are smarter than others, but we don't hear about them because they don't get caught. :)
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    This just reinforces my opinion that 99% of all in-production, non-clearancing sets for sale on ebay at any given time are stolen in one way or another.
  • MCNwakeboardMCNwakeboard VirginiaMember Posts: 274
    edited August 2012
    ^Agree, which is why I rarely sell on ebay, there is too much competition from scammers and you don't really make much on in-production sets.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    I have never bought in production Lego from EBay. I have bought a lot from Amazon, but not from private sellers just Sold by Amazon.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    The numbers in that story don't add up (shocking!). It said they bought $7,000 worth of actual stuff, and stole more than $2million. Say they bought 700 $10 items, that somehow came in gigantic boxes -- they'd have to had put $2,800 worth of stuff in each of those boxes. No way, not even at TRU's markup. :)
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 503
    Thanks for this humor. Sad for the stores, but great humor about them using their rewards points - and that being their downfall !
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    Yes, they "flew too close to the sun on wings of pastrami"
  • sadowsk1sadowsk1 Member Posts: 124
    ^Nice quote!
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,827
    Anybody slightly scared as to the real scale of some of this fraud/theft. We have heard of two people caught recently, but how many are actually out there?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    My good friend I grew up with is a TrU store manager and will soon be a district manager. He says he tries his best to teach his employees to check against fraud. He said someone returns some Legos with puzzle pieces inside. I asked him, "how do you know the person returning the Lego wasn't the one who put the puzzle pieces in there?" He said mostly by his gut feeling. The ones you have to watch out for are habitual returners. He has actually banned people from his store and/or told his employees to never accept returns from this person. What's funny, is that person was our High School Vice Principal 22 years ago...lol
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    The only thing you can try to do is educate people on fraud, or just change your policy. Do not allow returns on opened Lego.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    richo said:

    Anybody slightly scared as to the real scale of some of this fraud/theft. We have heard of two people caught recently, but how many are actually out there?

    Like I said, look on eBay for any currently in production set and you will get an idea.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 770
    My goodness...the woman is 70 years old for crying out loud! Stories like these make me feel like we live in a society that is circling down the inside of a toilet bowl.

    I am sure stories like these are more prevalent than we know or would like to know. I am also certain that more bozos will attempt this very same scheme!
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,401
    What a touching story. A son who still lives with his mother. I think I'm going to cry.

    In this economy, anything is possible.
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    Toys"R"us employees know of this kind of scam. I was told a story about a couple/person who stuffed Transformer toys inside a hockey bag and tried leaving the store with them. These "Hockey bags" to my knowledge were beginner supplies being sold by TRU... and as one could imagine, the bags were able to fit a lot of stuff if you gutted the insides.

    As far as I'm concerned, pulling off a scam doesn't make it clever. It's the actual method of theft that garners any sort of admiration. Heck, even I'd thought of similar ideas when I was a kid dreaming of taking pokemon cards. The article was quite funny. When It said "mother and son" I assumed it was some middle aged lady and her ten year old... that would've been news worthy! I couldn't help but laugh when I found out it was some NEET and his "Mother" stealing Lego. I'm still shocked how much money they were making.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,509
    edited August 2012
    Bandit said:

    This just reinforces my opinion that 99% of all in-production, non-clearancing sets for sale on ebay at any given time are stolen in one way or another.

    At least a closer eye on those selling sets out of box.
    Pitfall69 said:

    The only thing you can try to do is educate people on fraud, or just change your policy. Do not allow returns on opened Lego.

    The issue is that scammers are opening LEGO boxes, gutting the insides, then expertly re-sealing the boxes. The only way to stop this is for LEGO to either increase the size of the Tape on the box to make it less likely that someone can peel the sticker back without damaging it or the box, OR making a see through window again so you know what is in the box before buying.
    Otherwise you are likely punishing victims.. that being said, what the store manager did with the habitual returner needs to be done, but Im guessing people travel around..
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,827
    ^ loved the see through windows. Would help stop theft, appeals to Misb collectors as well. Win win.
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    It wasn't just LEGO they were stealing but also Leappads at $100 each. I don't think it is that far fetched, take one of those giant little tike boxes, remove the item and you can fit a lot into a box that was for a $20-$100 item.

    What amazes me is that they could get away with doing all of this in the store without being spotted by another customer or an employee.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,227
    meyerc13 said:

    It wasn't just LEGO they were stealing but also Leappads at $100 each. I don't think it is that far fetched, take one of those giant little tike boxes, remove the item and you can fit a lot into a box that was for a $20-$100 item.

    What amazes me is that they could get away with doing all of this in the store without being spotted by another customer or an employee.

    Or the CCTV cameras that seem to be everywhere.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    CCC said:

    Or the CCTV cameras that seem to be everywhere.

    Those cameras may be recording, but often no one is watching.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,453
    Or, I know of one major store chain that has the bubbles but no camera is inside.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    New CNN story: http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/14/toy-thief-wanted-to-rip-off-stores-in-all-50-states-police-say/?hpt=hp_t1

    Looking at the 2 ebay accounts mentioned in the story, they were stealing a bazillion other things, and not much Lego. The only Lego sold on the accounts were tons of Mindstorms sets, which makes sense, as they're usually for sale at TRUs and they are the most expensive set there. I wonder how many other ebay accounts they had.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    If I were the FBI, it seems like it would be so easy to find sellers like this on ebay who sell ridiculous amounts of obviously stolen new merchandise at non-sensical prices, then buy a few things, track where they're coming from, then stake out the people for a little while, and then bust them. Heck, this sounds fun. I'll do it -- it would make a great reality show! :D
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,227
    At least they were loyal to the company ...
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,506
    ^ :) :) :)
    Loyal but crazy to think they could get away with it for more than a few months.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,827
    Bandit said:

    If I were the FBI, it seems like it would be so easy to find sellers like this on ebay who sell ridiculous amounts of obviously stolen new merchandise at non-sensical prices, then buy a few things, track where they're coming from, then stake out the people for a little while, and then bust them. Heck, this sounds fun. I'll do it -- it would make a great reality show! :D

    Spot on. They should create a team of agents dedicated to this.
  • gifinimgifinim UKMember Posts: 174
    richo said:


    Spot on. They should create a team of agents dedicated to this.

    The L-Files?

  • sadowsk1sadowsk1 Member Posts: 124
    It's good that they got caught. Does anyone think this is the biggest scammer or there is an even better one our there still tearing it up with Lego that is too good to be caught?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    richo said:

    Spot on. They should create a team of agents dedicated to this.

    What is so sad is that they could create a team of 1,000 agents, and they still wouldn't get them all, there is so much fraud and theft going on, it is really a shame.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    Lol I can solve that crime in 5 seconds. Just look on eBay for the dudes selling Malevolences for $120 or less. There are a few sellers doing that, and the sets are all without a doubt stolen.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,912
    I wouldn't mind receiving free LEGO at my doorstep. ;-)

    It is a shame we have people like this in our society.
  • MCNwakeboardMCNwakeboard VirginiaMember Posts: 274
    Hey, that is close to where I grew up. An interesting scheme that doesn't seem to work.
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