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The Legend Of The Lego Lifter

, , , , , | Legal | CREDIT: kasabe | October 8, 2022

This was around five years ago, during my first tenure with a national shopping chain. I tended to work in the toy department at this chain. Over the span of a few weeks one summer, I’d be stocking the shelves or tidying up my area, and I noticed that some of the Lego sets had been opened, or that the counts were off. It wasn’t just the ten-dollar sets; often times it would be the big sets for $100 or over.

What’s especially interesting is that Lego packages their products so that there isn’t just one side of tape you have to cut through or fold open. You quite literally have to tear open the side of the box with some perforated areas.

It got noticeable to the point where I knew it was a serial offender, not just a random passerby who wanted to yoink a few random mini-figures out of a set. Our security team was notified and they started to keep a more careful watch.

A bit of time passed, and finally, one of the workers in electronics asked me if I had heard about the Lego thief. I hadn’t seen anything go missing for over a week, and I asked if he knew anything new.

It turns out that the security team caught the perpetrator one afternoon trying to take a few sets into the restroom area. It was a minor who was trying to stuff the sets (sans boxes) into his backpack. Apparently, the day he was caught, he was trying to lift two sets worth approximately $250.

What’s even nuttier is how this kid went about his business. See, the kid was supposed to be at a swim class up the road a mile and a half away. He would show up for his lesson with his parents, presumably, and then dip out immediately with his backpack, walk for nearly half an hour one way to our store, slip Lego into his pack, and then walk back in time to meet his parents at the end of his scheduled lesson.

I’d estimate that this kid got to near-felony levels of shoplifting. But incredibly, I suspect his parents didn’t even know he had this treasure trove of Lego in his room after every lesson. They didn’t hear the plastic jingling, or heck, even know that his swim trunks and towel were probably dry after every lesson.

By far, this was one of the most meticulous thieves I’ve ever seen working in retail for nearly a decade.

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