A gang of “brazen” Lego thieves who amassed a £4,650 haul of the plastic play bricks were caught after a car full of stolen toys was spotted by officers.
CCTV showed men wearing baseball caps going into the stores, taking reusable shopping bags, filling them with boxes, and walking out, bypassing the tills.
The sets included Lego-branded Minecraft sets, Disney Princess castles, Ninjago boxed sets as well as other toys, including Mario-kart and Sonic the Hedgehog playsets.
The men’s spree was halted when officers spotted a car full of toys in Newark-on-Trent, 30 miles away, later stopping the vehicle on the A17 on August 31.
Conlon McDonagh, 22, of Gregory Road, Southall, west London; Tom McDonagh, 22, of Greenwood Avenue, Enfield, north London; and Patrick Ward, 22, of Gregory Road, also Southall, admitted theft at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on September 2.
Having targeted stores in Worksop and Mansfield on August 29, the men ended up walking out with £3,000 in Lego and other toys from the B&M in Victoria Retail Park, Netherfield, the following day.
When challenged by staff, one of their number swore at the shop worker before fleeing to their car.
The men, whose suspended jail terms run for a year, have also been banned from the shop chain’s store for 12 months.
Sergeant Antony Coleman, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Thanks to the instincts of the patrolling officers whose suspicions were aroused by the considerable amount of Lego in the vehicle, these brazen thieves were all swiftly caught.”