Van Rams Into Toy Store In Dramatic Pokémon and Lego Heist

The raid comes as Pokémon and Lego prices continue to soar.
September 14, 2021, 1:00pm
GettyImages-1233873991
Image: Sara Stathas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A group of thieves rammed a van into a Dutch toy store and successfully made off with an unspecified number of Lego and Pokémon products. 

According to a press release from Dutch police, the ram raid occurred at 9:30 PM local time Friday and targeted a branch of the Dutch toy store chain Intertoys in Voorburg, a town of 40,000 in the southwest of the Netherlands. 

Advertisement

“Witnesses saw two men in a white van ram into the shop front,” the press release reads. “Agents immediately went to the shop, and the registration number and description of the van were passed on to surveillance units in the area.” 

“Analysis has been carried out in the toy store and the detectives are investigating the case. It is as of yet unclear what exactly has been stolen,” it continued. 

Police, including a helicopter, chased after a white van only to later find out it was the wrong vehicle. Later in the night, they found the actual suspected van abandoned on a street in The Hague, a nearby city. 

The manager of the store told Dutch media that the thieves were out for the store’s Pokémon and Lego collection. In April, Motherboard reported on how the surging Pokémon market has led to absurdly high prices, especially in the “graded” card market. Since Lego only manufactures sets for two years, its products are popular on second-hand and collectors markets where rare sets can sell for thousands

It isn’t just stores that have found themselves targeted. In 2018, Republicattack, a French toys YouTuber, also had his $19,000 dollar Lego collection stolen from his home. 

Advertisement

“This [raid] concerns a lot of money,” the manager told Dutch regional broadcaster Omroep West, “The Lego Masters television show has made Lego very popular, and Pokemon products are also worth a lot of money.” 

It is unclear whether the attack has any connection to the so-called “Polish Lego Gang,” a group of international toy thieves who French police have been on the hunt for since 2019. In 2021, two members of the gang were arrested and later told police they were part of a group that specialized in stealing sets that would fetch high prices on the collectors market, according to The Guardian.  

In a statement to Motherboard, a Lego spokesperson said the company is “aware of the reports” and advised people to “contact local law enforcement agencies if they suspect they have been offered or purchased stolen products.”

The Intertoy branch managed to clean up the damage and reportedly reopened on Monday.

“Fortunately no one was injured and there was only material damage,” the manager told national broadcaster NOS. “Just a bit of emotional damage.” 

Dutch law enforcement and the Intertoy group did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.