Kids aren’t the only one coveting expensive toys — as we’ve seen all too often recently, adults are cashing in by stealing pricey items like Lego sets and other items and then selling them for a profit on eBay. But one man who had an eye for toys as well also stole a whole lot of other stuff too from retailers across the country. His total haul? Around $4 to $5 million, say cops, and his mom helped him out.
Authorities say the Florida man had quite a scheme going, one that would allow him to steal just about anything— expensive toys, kitchen accessories, electric toothbrushes — just by taking a cheaper item that comes in a big box, emptying it out and shoving the pricier items inside. Then voila, he’s through checkout and hits up eBay to unload the hot goods.
“The financial impact of this — just talking to a couple of the retailers — is $4-5 million,” said one official involved in the case, adding that he would drive thousands of miles in his quest as a “one man wrecking crew.”
Cops say he was caught on surveillance video at one store, where he’s seen sealing up a box with video games as his mother and another person kept an eye out for anyone who might catch him. According to police, he was proud of his scheme and called it “the art of stealing.”
“It was one of his goals to visit all 50 states and commit thefts in all 50 states,” said the officer. “Which he was very proud of that he did succeed.”
He faced a judge last week and is being held on $300,00o bond. His mother also appeared in court and denied that she helped him lift some sets of Harry Potter Legos valued at $449.