Why Thieves Absolutely Love Stealing Legos

January 21, 2017 5:00 am
A British official turns to Lego when he needs to unwind. (Photo by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)


Think of things thieves desire: money, diamonds, Legos. Yes, Legos. Shane Dixon Kavanaugh explored the phenomena for Vocativ back in 2014. He reported thieves in the United States getting busted with hauls worth up to $200,000. The problem continues today, and it involves more and more nations. At the end of 2016, Andrew Masterson looked into the matter for the Sydney Morning Herald. He reported Australia was now besieged by Lego bandits, with one store getting robbed of $15,000 worth of the blocks in just a week. (There were two break-ins.)

The reaction of many of us to this news is: Huh? Sure, Legos were fun growing up, but most of us stopped using them years ago. And aren’t kids today more obsessed with electronic gadgets anyway?

Turns out that they’re damn near perfect for crooks looking to make a quick score. For starters, they’re difficult to trace. Beyond that, they’re an item that can be sold online for almost as much as (and on occasion even more than) their retail price. And above all, they can command big bucks.

There are quite a few AFOLs in the world. (That means Adult Fans of Lego.) And they are willing to pay for their Legos of choice. For instance, the Lego Star Wars Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon can be yours online for a mere $7,000 or so. Legos hold their value so thoroughly there have even been reports of a drug deal accepting them as payment.

In short: When you buy Legos, you’re not just making your kids happy: you’re potentially investing in their college fund. (But make sure you lock the doors and turn on the burglar alarm at night.) And to better appreciate the passion adults can bring to Legos, watch this time-lapse video of the assembly of a sculpture featuring over 100,000 pieces by Sean Kenney.

—RealClearLife Staff

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