Legos Gaining Popularity for Theft, Resale, and Drug Exchange in California

Legos Gaining Popularity for Theft, Resale, and Drug Exchange in California

Two suspects were arrested after police found 2,800 boxes of stolen Lego products in a home in Long Beach, Calif., on June 2024. (Los Angeles Police Department)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

6/8/2024

Updated: 6/11/2024

0

A pair of suspects were arrested on June 5 for the organized theft of Legos from retail stores in Southern California, according to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Richard Siegel, 71, of Long Beach, was arrested on suspicion of organized retail theft, and Blanca Gudino, 29, of Lawndale was arrested June 6 on suspicion of grand theft, the LAPD said in a June 6 statement.
The investigation began last December after a theft of Legos from a retail store on the 1700 block of North Gaffey Street in San Pedro. In that incident, store staff identified Ms. Gudino as a suspect, police said.
Ms. Gudino was again spotted June 4 allegedly stealing from the same retail stores in Torrance and Lakewood, police said.
Authorities said they then followed her to Mr. Siegel’s home in Long Beach.
Law enforcement raided the home the next day, recovering 2,800 boxes of Lego products ranging in value from $20 to more than $1,000 per box, according to police.
During the raid, potential Lego buyers visited Mr. Siegel’s home, which police said he used to sell the stolen goods. The buyers were “lured by advertisements placed by Siegel on internet sales sites,” authorities said.
Mr. Siegel was released with a court date scheduled for June 26 at the Long Beach Superior Courthouse, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s inmate tracker.
Two suspects were arrested after police found 2,800 boxes of stolen Lego products in a home in Long Beach, Calif., in June 2024. (Courtesy of Los Angeles Police Department)

Two suspects were arrested after police found 2,800 boxes of stolen Lego products in a home in Long Beach, Calif., in June 2024. (Courtesy of Los Angeles Police Department)

Ms. Gudino is being held in lieu of a $20,000 bail, police said.
In recent months, thieves have stolen more than $100,000 of Lego figures and kits from at least six Southern California locations of Bricks and Minifigs, which specializes in buying, selling, and trading new and used Lego products, according to media reports.
According to police, there is no immediate connection between the thefts and the recent arrests.
Earlier this year, a West Sacramento man was sentenced for stealing just over $18,000 in Legos, electronics, action figures, and household items from Sacramento-area Target stores over a one-year period, prosecutors said in a press release.
The defendant told investigators he stole with the intention of reselling the items to support his drug habit, according to a March press release by the Yolo County District Attorney’s office.
According to one homeless man in Orange County’s Stanton area, Legos are the easiest item to resell on online marketplaces.
In February, 26-year-old Noah Menlo, of Hawthorne, told The Epoch Times he would steal R2D2 Legos from Target stores in Southern California, and his drug dealer would give him a third of the retail price in drugs.
In California, under Proposition 47, possession of controlled substances under felony thresholds is a misdemeanor, as is theft below $950 per occurrence, with more than 75 percent of those charged never showing up to court, according to the California District Attorneys Association.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

Author

Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.