Was it compulsion, a desire to beat the system, or just pure greed? Authorities — and indeed, the public at large — are struggling to understand the "why" behind a complicated theft scheme where wealthy Silicon Valley executive Thomas Langenbach stands accused of stealing Lego sets from Target locations in Northern California.
Langenbach, a top executive with global software company SAP, is facing four felony counts of burglary after replacing the existing barcodes on Lego sets with new ones that would allow him to purchase the building blocks at a huge discount. According to Liz Wylie, a spokesperson for the Mountain View Police, Langenbach "sold 2,100 items in just over a year on eBay, and made $30,000. The motive was clearly money. Why does he want the money? I don't know. I can think of a million different scenarios." Langenbach clearly was not hurting for money — he lives in a $2 million San Carlos home.
According to authorities, Langenbach was printing his own barcodes — he was caught with eight Ziploc bags filled with dozens of the stickers. The executive was observed buying two Lego sets from Target on April 20, and then another two sets at a different Target location. On Langenbach's next visit to Target on May 8, a loss prevention officer noticed the exec applying the barcode stickers, and then checking the prices using the store's aisle scanners. When Langenbach purchased a Lego set at his own preferred price, he was detained by store security and arrested by the police.
[Image credit: bdesham]
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