Detectives are hunting three thieves suspected of stealing £1,400 worth of Lego from a toy store during a brazen raid.
The trio – one male and two female – snatched two huge sets of the building blocks, worth £700 each from the Smyths Toys store, in West Thurrock, Essex.
The raid comes just weeks after a similar incident a month before when three women in denim-clad hotpants reportedly stole large boxes of Lego worth hundreds of pounds from a shop in Broadstairs, Kent.
Officers investigating the latest theft, on the evening of October 5, have today released CCTV photos of the three suspects.
The photos show the group entering the West Thurrock Smyths Toys store followed by two holding two huge Lego set boxes. The three then leaves the shop allegedly without paying for the building blocks.
The trio are pictured entering the Smyths Toys in West Thurrock, Essex, on October 5, where two large sets of Lego were apparently stolen
One of the suspects, a woman in her mid to late 20s, is pictured carrying a large box of Lego out of the store. A second photo showing a man in his mid to late 20s has also been released by Essex Police
One woman shown holding her set is described as being in her mid to late 20s, with a tan and was wearing a cream jacket and brown shorts.
A second photo shows a man in his mid to late 20s, with wavy dark hair holding a second large box of Lego.
He wore a dark jumper with three large horizontal stripes across the chest.
The third suspect is a woman in her mid to late 20s wearing a cream jacket over an orange top and a pair of denim hotpants.
A police spokeswoman said: ‘We are looking to identify the people in these CCTV images, who we want to speak to in connection with this investigation.
‘If you know who they are, or have any information which could help, please contact us.’
The latest theft follows a similar incident at a premises in Margate Road, Broadstairs, in Kent.
On this occasion, three women were seen entering the site at around 5.30pm on September 2 before leaving with two Lego sets.
Lego can sell for a small fortune with a Millennium Falcon costing around £700 and a model of the Colosseum selling for nearly £500.
The trio involved in this incident were wearing denim hot pants, heavy false eyelashes and their hair in ponytails.
CCTV images have been released by officers investigating the alleged theft of high-value goods from a shop in Broadstairs at around 5.35pm on Friday September 2, 2022
Police would like to identify and speak to the three women as they may have information which could assist enquiries
Lego sets can sell for a small fortune with a Millennium Falcon costing around £700 and a model of the Colosseum selling for nearly £500
A spokesman said: ‘CCTV images have been released by officers investigating the theft of high-value goods from a shop in Broadstairs.
‘At around 5.35pm on Friday 2 September 2022, two large Lego sets were stolen from a commercial premises in a retail park in Margate Road.
‘Officers are now able to issue CCTV images of three women they would like to identify and speak to as they may have information which could assist enquiries.
‘Anyone with information about the theft or the identity of those pictured, should call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/172744/22.
‘You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or complete the online form.’
Essex Police has not yet said whether said the incident in Kent and the latest theft in West Thurrock are connected.
It comes after a trio of thieves were banned from every B&M store in England and Wales after pleading guilty to stealing more than £4,000 worth of Lego from several stores.
CCTV showed the men casually walking out of the store each with arms full of the Lego kits – which range anywhere from £15 to £75 – inside reusable shopping bags
The three stores the trio targeted and stole £4,000 worth of Lego. The men, who pleaded guilty to three counts of theft were handed an 18-month suspended jail term and banned at all B&M stores across England and Wales for a year
Conlon McDonagh, Tom McDonagh, and Patrick Ward, all 22, raided B&M stores in Nottinghamshire over a two-day spree in August.
A CCTV image shows the men casually walking out of one store each with arms full of the Lego kits – costing anywhere from £15 to £75 – inside reusable shopping bags.
A manhunt was launched after stores in Worksop, Mansfield and Netherfield were targeted on August 29 and August 30 – and over £4,000 worth of Lego sets taken.
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 were only caught when a police officer noticed their car brimming with toys on the A17 near Newark on Wednesday, August 31.
The trio were arrested and charged with three counts of theft, to which they pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on September 2.