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2 Arrested in Connection With Theft of 2,800 Lego Sets: Police

Individual items seized varied in retail value from $20 to well over $1,000




Several news outlets identified Target as the retailer being plagued by Lego thefts in Southern California. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

Two people have been arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly stealing numerous sets of Lego toys from area Target stores. The department’s Harbor Area Burglary detectives arrested 39-year-old Blanca Gudino of Lawndale and 71-year-old Richard Siegel of Long Beach in connection with a series of organized retail thefts involving LEGO sets.

(Though the police department did not reveal the name of the retailer involved, The New York Times and several other news sources identified it as Target.)

Last December, the LAPD said its detectives became aware of a series of theft cases from a Target store in San Pedro, where loss prevention personnel identified Gudino as the suspect. Then, earlier this month, members of the LAPD observed Gudino steal items from the same retailer at its stores in Torrance and Lakewood, before providing Siegel with the LEGO toys at his residence in Long Beach, police said.

On June 5, LAPD Harbor Area detectives served a search warrant at Siegel’s residence and recovered over 2800 boxes of Lego toys. Individual items seized varied in retail value from $20 to well over $1000.

Detectives from LAPD’s Commercial Crimes Division, Organized Retail Theft Unit, as well as members of the retailer’s loss prevention personnel, assisted with the recovery of the toys. During the officers’ investigation at Siegel’s residence, potential buyers of the toys arrived, lured by advertisements placed by Siegel on internet sales sites, authorities said.

In its coverage of the thefts, the Los Angeles Times said police are also searching for those responsible for stealing more than $100,000 worth of Lego merchandise from several Bricks & Minifigs stores across Southern California. Police did not say if any links are suspected between those thefts and the latest arrests.



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