Target Claims Tech Exec Created His Own Bar Codes To Buy LEGOs On The Cheap

You’re never too old for LEGOs! But it is possible to take those beloved brightly colored building blocks to a bad place where you’re resorting to crime in the pursuit of said toy. Millionaire tech executive Thomas Langenbach has been arrested for allegedly creating bar codes and using them to buy LEGOs at Target for his own special discounted price, and then selling them.

Langenbach lists himself on LinkedIn as a vice president at Palos Altos, Calif. software giant SAP Labs Integration and Certification Center, reports NBC Bay Area. He’s been arrested in an the odd scheme involving the purchase of LEGO toys, after he was discovered because Target was keeping its eye on LEGO sales.

Authorities allege he’d make his own bar code stickers, switch the tags at the store and then cash out for steep discounts. The police say he was caught on Target’s security camera performing the bar code switcheroo, after the store had already been watching LEGO sales.

When police searched his multi-million dollar home, cops found hundreds of boxes of LEGOs stashed away. A deeper look into Langenbach unearthed an alleged sale of around 2,100 LEGO items since last April totaling about $30,000. There were also reportedly 32 pre-made barcode stickers in Langenbach’s car.

“This probably happens more often than you’d think,” said Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie. “But this is the first time we’ve ever had a case like this,” adding that LEGOs are “very popular and expensive.”

She only charged him with four burglaries totaling a worth of $1,000, while investigators try to figure out which items were likely stolen and which are legitimately his.

And, lest you doubt that, NBC Bay Area notes that a similar crime occurred in 2005, when a man was arrested in connection with using switched out bar code labels on LEGO boxes at Target. Very familiar, indeed.

*Thanks for the tip, Kendrick!

VP of Palo Alto’s SAP Arrested in LEGO Bar Code Scam [NBC Bay Area]