Silicon Valley exec allegedly switched bar codes to steal Legos
Police allege Thomas Langenbach, a 47-year-old vice president of global software giant SAP, brought his own bar code stickers to Target stores in Mountain View, Calif., used them to cover up the real bar codes and purchased hundreds of boxes of the plastic building blocks at vastly discounted prices, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Langenbach did not enter a plea during his arraignment Tuesday in Palo Alto.
Investigators told the Mercury News they were baffled as to why a high-tech executive would steal the toys. When authorities searched Langenbach's $2-million San Carlos home they found "hundreds of unopened boxes," including dozens of the same set, they said.
Investigators believe Langenbach sold 2,100 items on EBay in just more than a year, netting about $30,000.
Loss prevention specialists at a Target store on Showers Drive used surveillance cameras to identify Langenbach as their suspected serial Lego thief in April, then sent fliers to area stores warning them of the incidents.
Store security caught Langenbach in the act May 8, and he was later arrested by Mountain View police.
"I think it seems clear he took some enjoyment from having Legos around," Hendrickson told the Mercury News. "But I think he also obviously had way more than any one human could possibly enjoy on their own in a legally acceptable way."
— Kate Mather
Photo: Thomas Langenbach. Credit: Associated Press