Holiday shoppers are being warned to be on the lookout for stolen toys this year, after an alleged Lego bandit was caught with thousands of dollars worth of the stolen bricks.
West Vancouver Police constable Jeff Wood says the man was caught after an officer pulled him over for speeding through a construction zone.
“He pulled the gentleman over and issued him a ticket, and he noticed there was a large amount of Lego in the back in duffle bags, and they weren’t open, they were in boxes.”
Wood says police connected the theft to a Lego heist earlier that day in Squamish.
Police in that city say the bricks had been lifted from a Wal Mart by a pair of men, and were worth just under $2300. Even more shocking – one of the men allegedly returned just a week later — and was caught with a further $750 worth of the stolen bricks.
Hot for the holidays
Lego products are always hot gift items this time of year, and can be a popular target for thieves because of their big price tag. The manager of one local toy retailer who asked not to be named says the bricks are the number one item shoplifted from his store, with most of them ending up on online sites like Craigslist.
Earlier this month, thieves in Hamilton, Ontario made off with $20,000 worth of the toys. Police in several US cities have netted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of the hot bricks in busts.
— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) November 19, 2015
That has Wood warning consumers to be careful about where they get the toys from.
“We are asking the public, be aware. If you are on Craigslist, or Kijiji, or whatever on the internet, and you’re seeing Lego, which is a hot commodity in this Christmas season, we do ask that you’re very wary of where it’s coming from, and if it’s possible that it is stolen, let your local police know.”
Wood says it’s good policy to ask sellers for a receipt, or some other proof of purchase.