Wednesday
September
03
2014
12:10 am
Weather
  Search Again
  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

DA builds case in Lego thefts
May 24, 2012, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff

Prosecutors have charged a San Francisco man in a string of Lego scams in which he allegedly swapped the actual bar code on a $139.99 Millenium Falcon set for a lower price sticker and made a  profit by selling the building kits on eBay.

Donald Morales, 44, is charged with 14 counts of commercial burglary and one count of grand theft for reported incidents at four different Target stores in San Mateo County. Morales, who was cited rather than taken into custody after his February arrest, failed to appear in court Wednesday morning for arraignment, leading a judge to issue a warrant.

Morales’ arraignment came the day after the arrest of a San Carlos tech executive on similar Lego theft charges in Santa Clara County made headlines. In that case, Thomas Langenbach is accused of replacing the bar codes on $30,000 worth of Legos to buy them for a lower price before turning around and selling them online for a hefty profit.

San Mateo County prosecutors say Morales, too, was actually buying the items, albeit it for a much reduced price, rather than shoplifting them outright. After his arrest, Morales said he was out of work and needed money, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

He also reportedly told authorities he didn’t make that much profit because of the shipping and PayPal fees.

"The overhead in being a thief was just too expensive,” Wagstaffe said.

Morales was nabbed April 14 at the Target in Redwood City but released on a misdemeanor citation because the arresting officer didn’t know he was linked to similar thefts at similar stores. Detectives eventually linked him to 14 separate trips to Target stores between Feb. 20 and April 14 — six in San Bruno, four in San Mateo, three in Redwood City and one in Daly City. In all but one, Morales allegedly put a $15.99 price tag on the higher price Lego sets and purchased them with his own credit card. He then sold the sets on eBay using PayPal, Wagstaffe said.

The loss to the stores was calculated at less than $2,000.


Michelle Durand can be reached by email: michelle@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.


Print this Page Print this Page |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
  


 
You are in the Archives

Exit
  RSS feed RSS
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
The CPUC decided to fine PG&E $1.4 billion for the 2010 San Bruno explosion and fire, with almost $1 billion going directly to the state's general fund. What do you think?

Totally agree with it
Agree, but think the entire fine should go to pipeline improvements
Think it should be more
Think it's too much
Disagree, but think the entire fine should go to pipeline improvements
 
 
 

 
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
 
©2014 Daily Journal - San Mateo County’s homepage