Renewed popularity of the plastic building bricks Lego is turning it into a good investment opportunity, but also a target for criminals.
It seems Lego is not just kids stuff any more.
Some of the more complicated specialist items – particularly those that have been discontinued – can sell for big money to collectors.
For example the Statue of Liberty set which cost $200 back in 2000 has recently been advertised for $10,000 on Amazon.
Enthusiasm for the bricks, and the relative untraceability of the boxes they come in, has also piqued the interests of thieves, with increasing numbers of raids on toy shops or the homes of private collectors.
Just in the last few days, police on Long Island, New York charged a woman with stealing 800 Lego sets from a collector and putting them up for sale on eBay, while in Phoenix, Arizona, four people were arrested in connection with thefts from Toys ‘R’ Us stores.
Police say one of the suspects had Lego merchandise worth around 150,000 euros at his home and in a storage locker.