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LAPD uncovers Lego theft ring, seizes 2,800 stolen boxes of toys

The individual boxes of Lego bricks ranged in value from $20 to more than $1,000

By Ian James
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police say they have busted a Lego theft ring, arresting two people and seizing more than 2,800 boxes of Lego toys that were stockpiled in a Long Beach home.

Police announced the arrests Thursday, a day after they said detectives searched the home of Richard Siegel, 71, and seized the toys.

Siegel was charged with organized retail theft. The second suspect, Blanca Gudino, 39, was arrested on charges of grand theft.

Gudino, of Lawndale, had previously been identified as a suspect in a series of thefts from a retail store in San Pedro in December, police said.

On Tuesday, police said, officers saw Gudino steal items from the same retailer in Lakewood and Torrance. She then took the toys to Siegel’s home, police said.

When police searched Siegel’s home, they said, they found the stacked boxes of Lego toys, with individual boxes varying in value from $20 to more than $1,000.

The Los Angeles Police Department said that while the officers were working at the home, “potential buyers of the toys arrived, lured by advertisements placed by Siegel on internet sales sites.”

Police also have recently been searching for suspects who have stolen 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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