Picture By: Clement127 on Flickr
Someone had broke into Brian Richards’ home Monday August 28, 2017 in Grandville, Michigan, and stole nothing else but his Lego collection.
Richards recalls leaving his house around 7:00A.M. on the morning of the robbery. He hadn’t noticed anything missing until returning from his errands two hours later. Though the thief didn’t carry off with any of Richards’ tools, computers, or TVs, he was saddened to learn his Legos were taken.
Brian valued the stolen toys at $7,000 and theft is covered under his home insurance. However, Richards is far more emotionally invested in the Legos. “It’s upsetting that they stole something that I’ve been building over the course of years,” Richards said in an interview with Fox 17 West Michigan. He started the collection when he was 5 years old and has spent much time enjoying the hobby with his wife, Katie and two kids.
Richards believes the robbery most likely happened between 12:00A.M. and 6:00A.M. on the morning of August 28. According to his blog post, Richard was “out in about the house until midnight [on August 27].” He woke up at 6:30A.M. and left for breakfast at 7:00A.M. Richard recalls returning from breakfast at 9:00A.M. While Brian was out of the house, the rest of the Richards family was awake. It wasn’t until this time, Richards noticed the Legos were missing from their room in the basement.
There was either a crew or a single bandit who took many trips down stairs during the robbery. Brian wonders how even one person could manage to get through locked doors and sneak into the basement without being herd by his family. He’s positive his house was locked at all hours, regardless if anyone was home or not.
According to Richards’ blog, the collection was organized in small drawers which were further separated into larger bins. There were a few sets assembled and displayed in the room, along with a two in the process of being put together.
Richards listed the stolen sets, which were built or in the process of being constructed in the basement room. These used sets alone have a total value of $1,770.19 on EBay, *assuming the sets are listed as “used.”
This list includes:
- Wall-E (21303)
- Disney Castle (71040)
- Architecture Series- Buckingham Palace (21029)
- Architecture Series- White House (21006)
- Mini Cooper (10242)
- Volkswagen T1 Camper Van (10220)
- Hobbit Series- An Unexpected Gathering (79003)
- Winter Holiday Train (10254)
- Pneumatic Crane Truck (8460)
- The DeLorean Time Machine (21103)
- Maze (21305)
- Ghostbusters Ecto-1 (21108)
- Ghostbusters- Firehouse Headquarters (75827)
- Lego Movie- Metalbeard’s Sea Cow (70810)
Brian also left many Lego collectible characters (minifigs) displayed.
Richards told Fox 17 West Michigan the burglar either wanted a collection for themselves or just a quick way to make some money. “The most frustrating part about all of this to me is that, statistically speaking, the thief is someone who knows us and our home,” Brian said in a Facebook post. “Someone who knew what we owned, where we kept it, and how to get it and get out most quickly.”
It could be concluded the thief did their homework on Richards’ collection before the robbery. It’s likely their intention was to steal only the Legos out of the toys’ designated room and they knew where to go. If this is the case, they missed one minor detail. Richards kept all of Lego instruction booklets in one separate box. It would be a struggle for anyone to assemble these sets without their manuals. Without their booklets, the robber would only be able to profit from the sets Richards’ had built for display. The manuals themselves even have financial value. A used manual for The Disney Castle (71040) was listed on EBay for $65. Whether the thief was planning on keeping or selling the Legos, the collection isn’t as valuable without the instructions.
All Richards can do now is wait for something to come up on the case. Since the break-in, he’s changed the locks of his home and plans add security cameras. The Richards family is working with the local police department in Grandville. If any volunteers would like to track down the toys, Richards requested on his blog to look out for the used Legos posted on Facebook, Craigslist, EBay, or even pawn shops in his area. He believes the thief would list them within 200 miles of Grandville.
On Richards Facebook, he’s offered “an easy way out” for the thief. Believing the crook would be reading his post, he suggested they return the collection anonymously. They can do this by dropping it off at the local police department or even a different house on Richards’ street. “Good luck to whoever did this, I hope your next decision is the right one,” Richards posted.
The Grandville Police Department can be reached directly at 1 (616) 538-6110.
* A used Maze set (21305) could not be found on EBay.
By: Jeff Coy