SAN JOSE, Calif. – A Silicon Valley software executive put fake bar codes on Lego sets at various Target stores, bought the toys at steeply discounted prices, then sold them online for thousands of dollars, authorities say.
Thomas Langenbach, 47, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on four felony counts of burglary.
Authorities say he covered the original bar codes on Lego sets with his own bar-code stickers to get a cheaper price.
When they obtained a search warrant for his posh home south of San Francisco, police said they found hundreds of sets of the colorful toy bricks, many of which they said he sold on eBay under the name "tomsbrickyard."
Authorities say Langenbach's San Carlos home also was filled with Lego creations he had built himself.
Eight baggies of bar code stickers were found in his car, police said.
Langenbach works for German software giant SAP. His LinkedIn profile lists him as a vice president in a Northern California division.
He was already under surveillance by Target security officers who suspected him of the scheme when they spotted him at the chain's store in Mountain View on May 8. After he completed his purchases using the bogus bar codes, the store called police and Langenbach was arrested, authorities said.
"They had recognized him when he walked in the store and had seen him on camera actually sticking bar-code stickers onto items," Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie told KNTV-TV.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Cindy Seeley Hendrickson told the station that Langenbach bought a $279 box of Millenium Falcon Legos for $49 and a $90 Anakin Skywalker Lego set for $35.
Attempts to reach Langenbach, who is free on bail, were unsuccessful.