Silicon Valley Exec Caught Stealing Lego in Barcode Scam

SAP Vice President Thomas Langenbach has been arrested for theft thanks to a scheme that saw him steal thousands of dollars worth of Lego from retail giant target. The executive is said to have created fake barcodes which he then took to the store and pasted over the real barcodes on boxes of Lego. He then purchased the modified boxes at a discount and sold them online. 

Mercury News reports that when authorities visited Langenbach's $2 million home, they found hundreds of Lego sets and a bag of barcode stickers in his car. He apparently made thousands of dollars selling the sets on eBay under the username "tomsbrickyard." However, investigators are also said to have found many sets of Lego that he had built, separated in bricks by color, type, and size.

Langenback apparently visited several Target stores to carry out his scam but also hit some stores more than once and was observed visiting more than one store in a day. Mr. Langenbach was caught on May 8 at at Target in Mountain View. He reportedly placed his own barcodes on multiple items and then checked them on the store's aisle scanners to make sure they were scanning through at his discounted price. Store security apprehended him as soon as he left the store with an item he had not paid full price for. 

The 47-year-old appeared in court today on four counts of burglary.

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Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.

  • antemon
    uh... (checks date)


    either this is a late april fool's article or this is one very clever clept man.
  • digiex
    Higher level of Kleptomaniac evolution.

  • 4745454b
    So your a VP for SAP and you need to steal Lego's to get by??? This article doesn't make much sense.
  • TeraMedia
    separated in bricks by color, type, and size
    Diagnosis: "Lego Addiction"?
    It's Rain Man, Mr. BigWeld, and Miles Logan all in one. Wonder if he padded his resume like the Yahoo! executive, to get that cushy SAP VP gig.
  • nforce4max
    Now we know who to nominate for this year's Darwin Award.
  • fulle
    I guess he must be addicted to the rush of stealing. This is why people need hobbies, ya' know?... so they won't start Lego stealing schemes for the sole purpose of entertaining themselves.
  • hoof_hearted
    He needs some counseling from Wynona.
  • belardo
    Guy made enough money to simply buy the LEGOs... in bulk.

    This is what a criminal looks like. Meanwhile, I see posts all over the internet referring Trayvon as a "thug" for his crime of being a black teen walking down the sidewalk, nothing more.
  • tolham
    professional klepto. he should have gone to more stores and and less frequently, but that's the nature of the beast.
  • skittle
    target is a terrible place to steal from, they have probably the best security system of any retailer. Big things like this will get caught.

    Even have their own forensics lab