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Silicon Valley tech bigwig arrested for fake barcode Lego scam

According to his LinkedIn profile, Thomas Langenbach is the vice president of SAP Labs’ Integration & Certification Center. According to police however, that cushy tech industry job just wasn’t pulling in the kind of cash Langenbach needed, so the man turned to a life of clever, geeky crime.

Langenbach, it seems, had made a habit of printing off “sophisticated” reproductions of barcodes used by Target retail stores for low-end Lego sets. He would then take these codes to the stores, slap them on high-end, expensive Lego sets in place of their original barcodes, then purchase the sets at a massively discounted price. For instance, Target has evidence that Langenbach purchased the $250 Lego Millennium Falcon (pictured above) for a paltry $50.

Once acquired, Langenbach would sell the items on eBay, pocket the profit and start the process all over again. NBC Bay Area reports that when police searched his home they discovered “hundreds and hundreds” of Lego boxes. It is believed that since he began his scam last April, Langenbach had “allegedly sold 2,100 LEGO items totaling about $30,000.”

Though this is not the first time someone has attempted to nab serious discounts via faux barcodes, it’s baffling to see a man of Langenbach’s professional stature turn to such illicit methods of acquiring cash. The house police raided was worth millions of dollars, and according to LinkedIn, Langenbach is “a senior professional with over 20 years experience in the enterprise software industry and is currently Vice President of SAP’s Integration & Certification Center.” In turn, SAP is “the market leader in enterprise application software” (which is PR-speak meaning the company makes quite a bit of money by creating and supporting the software that other businesses rely on to operate).

In short, you’d think Langenbach would have enough cash to get by simply by virtue of his job. Of course, there’s always the possibility that he has secret debts or an expensive habit that he’d prefer to keep out of the public eye. Or, for that matter, maybe he just really enjoys the rush of swiping things that don’t belong to him.

Whatever the reason, Langenbach remains in police custody and is scheduled for arraignment later today. SAP is aware of his arrest, and has confirmed his employment with the company, but refuses to comment further.