Police say leader of organized Lego theft ring had $50K in stolen sets at home

A Portland man was arrested for allegedly organizing a Lego theft ring and selling thousands of dollars in stolen toys online.

Portland Police arrested 40-year-old Raji Afife Azar Thursday after buying approximately $13,000 in stolen toys from undercover investigators.

During a search of Azar’s home, detectives say they found at least $50,000 in Lego sets stolen from Portland-area Fred Meyer stores.

The Portland police Bureau says Azar’s theft ring used a network of thieves, many of whom were addicted to opioids and other drugs, to steal Lego sets from stores. Azar met them and arranged the thefts through sites like OfferUp and Craigslist.

Police say Azar met with the thieves and bought the stolen Legos for a fraction of their retail prices. He then put the stolen toys up for sale online, making a profit. 

Police began tracking Azar in early 2018 when Fred Meyer theft investigators learned that he was the leader of an organized theft ring.

Azar contacted undercover detectives, who he thought were prospective thieves, and made a deal to buy stolen Legos Thursday morning. That's when he was arrested.

Azar is facing charges of first-degree aggravated theft, laundering a monetary instrument, 10 counts of first-degree theft and 15 counts of computer crime.

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