“Help! My entire LEGO collection was stolen!”
It may sound a little silly, but for Michigan man, it’s anything but, as a thief managed to take thousands of Lego pieces — and only Lego pieces — from his home, likely while his family slept upstairs.
Brian Richards, of Grandville, Michigan, has been collecting Legos since he was 5 years old, he told WXMI. Over time, he kept accumulating the little plastic figurines and bricks, so much so that they dominated an entire room in his basement. He, his wife and their children played with them together, according to Inside The Magic.
At some point this week, however, almost his entire collection, which he values at $7,000, vanished. On his personal website, Richards said he believed they were taken sometime between midnight and 9 a.m. on Monday. In a post on his site, Richards says the thief bypassed television monitors, microphones and woodworking tools and just took Legos.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
As to why someone would want his Legos so badly, Richards told WXMI that he believes the thief knew about his collection beforehand and either wanted to add to his or her own collection or sell off the sets. He told Inside The Magic that he is keeping an eye on eBay and other sites to see if any of his sets pop up for sale.
Grandville police confirmed to WXMI that they are investigating the robbery. In the meantime, Richards told the station that he is installing security cameras, changing locks — and trying to stay positive.
“The first (silver lining) is we get to relive some of these memories,” Richards said. “But the other is the fact that they left all the instruction booklets so that we can find all of them again.”
That’s right. The thief or thieves forgot to take a cardboard box with the instructions for every set. Richards says that will hurt their ability to sell the sets to collectors.
While Richards’s loss of Legos was very personal to him, he’s far from the worst victim of Lego theft. In 2012, a Florida master shoplifter, Ignatius M. Pollard, was charged with stealing and re-selling Legos. Authorities claim he made $2 million from the scheme.
In May, a man in Sydney, Australia, nabbed $8,500 worth of Legos from a toy store, and in 2015, Portland, Oregon, police arrested a man in an undercover sting after he tried to sell them stolen Legos. The toys are such popular items for thieves that Vice ran an article in 2016 explaining “Why Stealing Legos May Be the Perfect Crime.”
“Legos are a hot item due to their popularity and relative cost from retail markets,” a police officer was quoted as saying in the story. “Virtually untraceable — no serial numbers — and easily sold.”