French police say they are building a case against an international gang of game thieves who specialize in stealing Lego pieces.
French police have warned specialty stores and even parents to be aware of the global trade in Lego parts.
The warning comes after officers arrested three people for stealing Lego boxes from a toy store in Evelyn, outside Paris, in June.
During interrogation, the suspects, all from Poland, confessed to being part of a team specializing in stealing Lego pieces that collectors are looking for.
One of the investigators said For a newspaper Le Parisien: The Lego community isn’t just kids, there are many adults playing with it, there are swaps and sales online, and we also have people complaining that their homes have been broken into and Lego pieces stolen from them.
The arrested gang was first reported in France in November 2019, and again in February 2020.
The officer said: They came to France, stayed in a hotel in the Paris region, and then proceeded to raid toy stores before returning to Poland to sell what they had.
And says (Gerbern van Ecken) Gerben van IJkenLego specialist who advises the online auction platform to buy and sell collectibles: Sales on the French site doubled last year.
He added: Investing in these parts is not new, but this niche market has reached new heights with the epidemic, and people are enjoying more time at home due to health restrictions and the toy market has spread, and we often have more than 1,000 Lego sales per week.
And there are always deals on Lego because it is a premium collection and attracts many adults, and the company is withdrawing its collections about two years after its launch, so there is no escaping the existence of a market for used items.
This phenomenon has exploded over the past eight years as people realized they could make money reselling Lego pieces and sets online.
Van Ecken cited Lego’s Cafe Corner collection that cost 150 euros when it was launched in stores in 2007 and sold in its original box for 2,500 euros last year.
And the theft of Lego pieces is not limited to France, it is a global business, according to reports from the United States, Canada and Australia, where many thefts have been reported over the past five years.
A man stole $ 2 million worth of Lego sets in Florida in 2012, andIn 2005 San Diego Police arrested a group of women who were found to be in possession of 200,000 euros worth of Lego pieces.