||Bricklink Admin Bill Swanberg arrested for Lego thefts
||Fri, 18 Nov 2005 21:36:50 GMT
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|William A. Swanberg, the inventory admin on Bricklink was arrested for switching|
UPCs on Lego sets. Full story here:
"WASHINGTON COUNTY - - Early this morning (11/17/05), members of the Washington
County Interagency Fraud and Identity Theft Enforcement Team (FITE), along with
members of the Regional Computer Forensics Lab, served a search warrant on a van
parked in the Target parking lot located at 10075 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy.
The owner of the van was alleged to have stolen over $115,000.00 worth of Legos
from the Target Corporation and then sold the toys on eBay.
William A. Swanberg
Detectives questioned a man they suspected of cheating Target stores in five
western states out of over $150,000.00. William A. Swanberg, 40, was detained by
Target security officers after he purchased ten boxes of the Star Wars
Millennium Falcon Lego set. Detectives say that Swanberg had developed a method
to replace the bar code on the more expensive Millennium Falcon set with one
from a less expensive Lego set. He purchased the Legos at a greatly reduced
price and then sold them on eBay for close to the retail price.
Target identified the scam after Swanberg allegedly committed the same crime in
Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California. Target loss prevention agents had been on
the lookout for Swanberg after their corporate office notified them that he
might be in the Portland Area. When Detectives contacted Swanberg at the Target
store he didnt want to talk to them about his activities. Detectives obtained a
search warrant for Swanbergs newer model Ford E-350 van and served it at
approximately 4:00 a.m. this morning. They recovered 56 Star Wars Millennium
Falcon Lego sets valued at approximately $99 each, 22 other miscellaneous Lego
sets, and 5 Harry Potter Lego sets from the van which are thought to have been
stolen from other Target stores in the area. Detectives also seized a notebook
computer where Swanberg identified Target stores in the area and plotted their
locations on mapping software. Swanberg was lodged in Washington County Jail on
two counts of Theft I.
In anticipation of the coming Holidays, The FITE Team is encouraging people to
be especially careful with their financial information. For tips on preventing
fraud and identity theft visit the FITE web page listed below.
The FITE Team (Fraud & Identity Theft Enforcement) is a multi-agency team
currently comprised of Detectives from the Washington County Sheriffs Office
and the Hillsboro Police Department."
"WEST SLOPE -- The name Lego comes from the Danish words "leg godt," which
translates to "play well."
It's a lesson William A. Swanberg could learn.
On Thursday morning, Washington County sheriff's investigators searched
Swanberg's van and say they found it packed with the stuff of Christmas dreams:
dozens of high-priced Lego toys.
Swanberg, 40, of Reno, Nev., was arrested the day before at the Target just east
of Oregon 217 on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.
Sheriff's investigators and the retailer's security officers accused Swanberg of
theft. They say he cheated Target stores in five Western states by using fake
bar codes to buy more than $115,000 worth of Lego toy sets for 20 cents on the
Washington County sheriff's Detective Troy Dolyniuk said Swanberg ran a scam to
acquire and resell the toys across the West. The detective offered this account:
Swanberg would take a real bar code from a cheaper Lego set and reprint it on a
sticker he would slap on an expensive Lego set.
When Swanberg went through the checkout line at a Target, he would hand the
store clerk the item with the fraudulent bar code and show a pile of the same
items in his cart, the detective said. To speed things along, the clerk would
scan the faked bar code sticker multiple times.
Swanberg later sold the items for nearly the full retail price on eBay, Dolyniuk
He was an efficient shopper. Dolyniuk said the van's contents show he had hit
seven Portland-area Target stores on Wednesday -- five in Multnomah County and
two in Washington County.
Swanberg was detained by an employee of the Target on Beaverton-Hillsdale
Highway about 2 p.m. Wednesday and arrested just before 5 p.m.
He was arraigned Thursday on two charges of first-degree theft and held in
Washington County Jail on $250,000 bail.
When authorities looked through the tinted windows of Swanberg's van early
Thursday, they could see stacks of Lego toys. They tallied 56 Star Wars
Millennium Falcon sets (with a $98.99 sticker price); 22 Star Wars Ultimate
Space Battle sets ($49.99); five Harry Potter sets; and three large Ferrari F1
Large Racers ($69.99).
Dolyniuk said the Ferrari sets trace back to a Toys R Us.
The detective credited the sharp eyes of Target's corporate security people for
tracking Swanberg and catching him in time for the holidays.
"Hopefully, we kept him from spoiling some kid's Christmas," Dolyniuk said."
Message has 11 Replies:
| ||Re: Bricklink Admin Bill Swanberg arrested for Lego thefts|| Kelly McKiernan|
|(...) truck to haul away his inventory. The story says he sold more than $600K worth of brick over the last 3 years. Unfortunately, they also mention BrickLink. (URL) this would have to happen in my neck of the woods... he was arrested at the Target (...) (8 years ago, 25-Nov-05, to lugnet.mediawatch) |
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