1:42 PM EST, February 8, 2013
Legos are one of the most popular toys of all time allowing kids to build fantastic creations. Some Lego kits sell for hundreds of dollars.
So, it’s not surprising that they are also a hot item targeted for theft, but you may be surprised who’s being accused of stealing them.
One of the accused is a wealthy Silicone Valley corporate executive, Thomas Langenbach.
So why would such a successful software executive, who owns two beautiful million dollar homes, be accused of stealing Legos?
Because it can be very lucrative.
Watch the entire video segment here.
Police provided Inside Edition surveillance photos on the days they say Langenbach stole Legos from three Target stores near his home in San Carlos, California. Security cameras caught him allegedly placing home-made bar codes with cheap price tags over the actual expensive price tags. Cops say a search of his home turned up phony price tags and hundreds of boxes of Legos they say he was re-selling on eBay.
Langenbach was arrested and has pled not guilty. INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero caught up with him as he was leaving court.
Guerrero asked, “You are a highly paid business executive, why do the police say you've stolen thousands of dollars worth of Legos?”
Langenbach replied, "I will have no comment at this time."
Guerrero then asked, “How do you explain the Legos and the home made bar codes in your home?”
Langenbach said, “No comment.”
And he isn't the only one charged- authorities say there's a crime spree in stolen Legos around the country.
Police say security cameras caught a young mother going on a Lego-stealing spree with her young son in tow. She can be seen walking into the toy section with her child by her side. Police say cameras clearly catch her placing a low cost label over the original high priced bar code. She calmly paid for the items and brought boxes of them back home. Then cops say she would ship thousands of dollars worth of Legos to people she sold to on eBay.
Detective Alex Iwaskewycz of Florida’s Lauderhill Police Department investigated the case.
Guerrero watched a copy of the surveillance tape with the detective, “So she goes in there and within seconds she slaps that label right over the toy box and walks out.”
Detective replied, “That quick.”
“With her son,” said Guerrero.
Detective said, “Part of her way of disarming the cashiers is taking an innocent child with her.”
The mother, Barbara Aqueveque was arrested and charged with theft. She's pled not guilty.
Toy store owners say Lego theft can be devastating to the bottom line. Inside Edition spoke to l Kirstin Brown and Nicole Coyle who own the toy store in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Coyle told us, “People know that if you can get your hand's on Legos, even if you steal it, you are going to be able to turn around and make a profit on it.”