A Silicon Valley tech executive faces charges after authorities say he put fake bar codes on hundreds of Lego sets at various Target stores so he could buy the toys at steeply discounted prices, then sell them online for thousands of dollars in profits.
Thomas Langenbach, 47, was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on four counts of burglary.
Authorities say Langenbach covered over the original bar codes with his own bar-code stickers to get a cheaper price.
They say investigators found hundreds of Lego sets at his posh San Carlos, Calif., home and learned he made thousands of dollars selling the pilfered sets of colorful toy bricks on eBay under the name "tomsbrickyard."
Eight baggies of bar code stickers were found in his car, police said.
Langenbach was already under surveillance by Target security officers who suspected him of the scheme when they spotted him at the chain's store in Mountain View on May 8. After he completed his purchases using the bogus bar codes, the store called police, and Langenbach was arrested, authorities said.
"They had recognized him when he walked in the store and had seen him on camera actually sticking bar-code stickers on to items," Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie told KNTV-TV.
Langenbach works for German software giant SAP . His LinkedIn profile lists him as a vice president in a Northern California division. Attempts to reach Langenbach, who is free on bail, were unsuccessful.