Thieves target Lego sets as value soars

Lego’s popularity is soaring after years of crisis saw the Danish family business turned over to new management. Tie-ins with movies, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter, have helped it connect with a new generation of young builders and quadruple its revenues in less than a decade.

Expensive specialist kits include Tower Bridge or the Ewok village, from Return of the Jedi, which retail for $249.

But that’s nothing compared with how prices can rise for unopened, discontinued lines, such as a 2,899-piece Statue of Liberty, released in 2000, which now sells for $10,000.

With that has come a lucrative online trade – and black market.