The Seattle Police Department (SPD) has broken up an illegal Lego trafficking operation valuing $10,000 in stolen sets.
Police say that a Seattle shop-owner was busted re-selling the stolen sets of Lego toys – most of which were Star Wars “The Mandelorian”- themed. The SPD humorously dubbed the giant shoplifting investigation “Operation: MandalOrganized Retail Theft.”
According to NBC News, the King County Prosecuting Attorney recently charged Steven Brady, 67, with trafficking stolen property by re-selling the stolen goods at his store Rummage Around in downtown Seattle.
The maximum penalty for such a crime is 10 years in prison or a $20,000 dollar fine – or both.
After receiving a search warrant, authorities raided Rummage Around and recovered numerous stolen electronics and 171 Lego sets.
The SPD began their investigation for the missing Legos in July after Amazon 4-Star, a brick-and-mortar store owned by the online e-commerce giant, reported the thefts.
According to a criminal complaint, $10,000 worth of Legos and electronics were stolen.
Then, in September, an Amazon 4-Star employee noticed that the Lego sets in Rummage Around matched the stolen items.
While investigating at the store, an SPD detective observed the trafficking scheme in person.
“He notified police, and a detective went to the store to investigate. While the detective was at the store, the prolific shoplifter arrived and sold multiple items to the shop’s owner,” the SPD wrote.
Police confirmed that the RFID tags from the items matched those of the robbed store. They then conducted a sting operation in October with plainclothes detectives selling marked goods to Brady.
After the raid, nearly $2,000 in stolen goods from Amazon 4-Star were recovered, but the “prolific shoplifter” is still at large.