Ignatius Michael Pollara allegedly hid expensive Lego inside larger boxes of cheap merchandise.
Lego is infamously expensive. It isn’t rare to hear cases of theft, whether it is a kid stuffing a Lego Darth Vader in his pocket or a man auctioning it online for extra cash. However, Ignatius Michael Pollara, a 47-year-old man from Florida, brought it to the next level when he stole a stunning total sum of $2 million in Lego and LeapFrog games.
After years of robbing kids with overpriced Lego, Toys R Us themselves got robbed. According to the police: “He has made over 175 purchases, spending $6,737.94 at the 139 different Toys R Us locations throughout these states,” before finally being arrested in August 2012.
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Pollara reportedly used a well-known method called ‘box stuffing’ in which he slyly hid expensive Lego in larger boxes of cheap merchandise. After buying the bargain bin toys with the ‘free’ Lego inside, he made multiple eBay accounts and sold them at an elevated price.
To add insult to injury he allegedly had the audacity to use his reward card in an attempt to save even more money for each purchase. As if a man with $2 million needed to worry about saving money on cheap toys. As a result of his alleged greed the police were able to track him down through his reward card after suspicion arose when a Harry Potter Lego set worth almost $900 was stolen.
He was charged with 10 theft-related charges which, if convicted, could lead to more than 30 years in prison. He has denied the charges, claiming corruption and conspiracy were behind it and that the police forced him to make certain statements. He also added that his mother and his nine stray cats needed him to look after them. Funnily enough his 71-year-old mum was also accused of involvement as a lookout.
His friend, Travis Simpson, also found to be involved said in a videotaped statement: “Michael is addicted to Toys R Us.” Clearly. The case was passed onto Broward County’s Mental Health Court where he awaits trial.
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Photo: theiceisalie via Flickr