Thomas Langenbach, a vice president for software giant SAP's Palo Alto lab, was busted using counterfeit bar code stickers to get himself huge discounts on LEGO toys at local Target Stores. Langenbach was officially charged with four counts of burglary for seven boxes of the children's toy totaling about $1,000 worth of LEGOs. When police searched his multimillion dollar San Carlos home, however, they found "hundreds and hundreds" of LEGO boxes the software exec had been apparently selling for a tidy profit on eBay.
All told, Langenbach made around 30 grand selling 2,100 boxes of LEGOs online. Police found 32 pre-made barcode stickers in his car, which the LEGO scammer planned to use to purchase expensive models like a $279 Millenium Falcon set for a mere $49. Target has been keeping a close watch on sales of the popular and expensive children's toys, apparently: Langenbach was caught on tape swapping out the barcode stickers thanks to some vigilant LEGO stop loss procedures the stores have in place. He told police that he had seen how to perform the scam on YouTube and was curious to see if it worked, but the cops didn't think that story quite stacked up. Langenbach was arrested on May 9th and is currently out on $10,000 bail.
"This probably happens more often than you'd think," Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie told NBC Bay Area, "but this is the first time we've ever had a case like this."
This is actually the second time Target has been a victim of a LEGO scam. Back in 2005, a Reno, Nevada man was busted for running a $200,000 illegal LEGO ring that crossed state lines from Oregon and Nevada to Utah, Arizona and California.
Here is NBC Bay Area's video report:
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