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It’s a story that seems ridiculous at first glance – why would police in Springfield, Oregon, spend three months tracking down a local LEGO thief?

Sure, some LEGO sets are worth a lot of money – but I can’t help but picture an angry mother standing there with her crying toddler, demanding that a tired policeman give him back her favorite red brick from a bully on the playground.

Fortunately, Oregonians can rest easy knowing their police didn’t waste taxpayer money tracking down a single brick.

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Springfield Police Announce Seizure of LEGO Bricks Valued at $200,000

On July 9, Springfield Police announced via their Facebook page that they had spent three months investigating a large-scale shoplifting incident involving stolen LEGO sets from local retailers.

The SPD alleges that the owner of Brick Builders on Willamette Street in Eugene “knowingly purchased new, unopened Lego sets that had been stolen from local retail stores.”

Police also allege that some of the suspects involved indicated they would sell the stolen items back to the store for a fraction of the store’s value in order to purchase and consume illegal drugs.

In total, Springfield police seized 4,153 LEGO sets valued at over $200,000. The drone footage definitely makes it look like an impressive haul. Of course, the police also had a bit of fun placing LEGO inside.

Shared image with two posed LEGO police sets

Springfield Police Department (via Facebook)

LEGO is a popular object for shoplifting

As CNN reported earlier this year, LEGO figures are a popular target for shoplifting due to their high value and collectability. Read Hayes, a criminologist at the University of Florida and director of the Loss Prevention Research Council, told CNN in his report:

LEGO is unique. The brand is constantly renewing its range and is always on trend with references to pop culture and special editions.

It’s no surprise that modern LEGO has become one of the most popular targets of thieves. It’s also a favorite target of counterfeiters, so if you’re looking to buy a new LEGO set, don’t skimp on quality – buy from authorized LEGO retailers.

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The 11 most valuable LEGO sets and one you can only get in Boise

According to BrickEconomy, these are the most valuable LEGO sets. On average, popular LEGO sets increase in value by 11%. Some surpass this mark, while others are so valuable that even a small increase in value can mean a lot of money.

Gallery Credit: Marco

These LEGO works of art are incredible

Who among us hasn’t played with a LEGO brick or two at some point? We may have built cool houses or amazing cars, but most of us haven’t created complete works of art out of millions of LEGO bricks.

Luckily, a great artist was there and his work is coming to Boston. Here’s what to expect at The Art of the Brick this fall.

Gallery credit: Nancy Hall