Sunday, April 29, 2018

Boss of organized Lego theft ring had $50K in stolen sets at home

Portland man Raji Afife Azar, 40, was arrested for allegedly organizing a Lego theft ring and selling thousands of dollars in stolen toys online. He was arrested after buying $13,000 in stolen toys from undercover cops.

During a search of Azar’s Southeast Portland home, detectives found at least $50,000 in Lego sets stolen from Portland-area Fred Meyer stores alone. They also found more stolen items from other stores.
Azar’s theft ring used a network of thieves or 'boosters'. Azar met with the thieves and bought the stolen Legos for a fraction of their retail prices. He then put the stolen toys up for sale online and made big profits. Legos are the targets of professional thieves around the country because they are hard to trace and can be sold quickly on the black market. Some sought-after Lego sets can sell for over $1,000.
Azar faces charges of first-degree aggravated theft, laundering a monetary instrument, 10 counts of first-degree theft and 15 counts of computer crime.