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2,800 boxes of LEGO toys seized from Long Beach home – NBC Los Angeles

The police have apparently solved the mystery surrounding the theft of a LEGO toy.

Two people suspected of organizing shoplifting of LEGO toys at several stores in Southern California have been taken into custody after a six-month investigation, Los Angeles police said Thursday.

Richard Siegel, a 71-year-old Long Beach man, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of organized shoplifting. Blanca Gudino, a 39-year-old Lawndale woman, was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of grand larceny, police said.

The arrests follow a series of thefts that began in December, when LEGO products were stolen from a store in the 1700 block of North Gaffey Street in San Pedro. The store's anti-theft personnel identified Gudino as the suspect.

Police said she also stole items from the same company's stores in Torrance and Lakewood on Tuesday.

The products were taken to Siegel's Long Beach residence, police said. Detectives searched the home Wednesday and seized more than 2,800 boxes of Lego products ranging in retail price from $20 to $1,000, authorities said.

During the investigation, potential buyers showed up at the house who had responded to online ads for the products, police said. Photos released by the LAPD showed LEGO toy boxes stacked from floor to ceiling.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspects have lawyers.

Anyone with information regarding the organized shoplifting of Legos in the greater Los Angeles area is asked to contact LAPD Harbor Area Detectives at 310-726-7900. After-hours or weekend calls should be directed to 877-527-3247. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit lacrimestoppers.org.

At least six stores selling Lego collectibles have been robbed in the past two months. Store owners told NBCLA on Monday they believe the same man may be behind all of the recent cases.

Surveillance video from Bricks and Minifigs in Whittier shows a break-in early on the morning of May 3. It shows a man wearing a headlamp smashing the front glass and entering the store with a trash bag.

About 30 miles away, another Bricks and Minifigs store in Ontario was the victim of a similar crime. The Ontario store owner said a man broke in through a window on April 12 and stole the most expensive items within minutes.