Sick and dying children are to benefit from a Sheffield thief’s criminality – after detectives decided to donate 200 boxes of stolen Lego to charity.
Ian Castley, aged 49, of Pitsmoor Road, Pitsmoor, Sheffield, was found with the stash of Lego when officers searched his home after he was caught trying to steal two other boxes at Tesco in Chesterfield.
During his police interviews he told detectives he was a gambling addict and had stolen the Lego to fund his habit.
Investigations revealed he had sold thousands of pounds worth of the toy on eBay before he was caught in June 2012.
It took another 12 months for him to be charged and later convicted.
Detective Constable Dean Tidd had to travel the length and breadth of the Midlands following through all Castley’s financial transactions and searching supermarket CCTV footage to try to catch him in the act.
He was found to have stolen Lego from supermarkets in Sheffield, Chesterfield, Ripley and Nottingham.
Castley was issued with a community order for shoplifting and the boxes of Lego officers could not reunite with businesses are to be donated to local children.
They are going to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in North Anston, the children’s ward at Chesterfield Royal Hospital and Ashgate Hospice, also in Chesterfield.
“He sold thousands of pounds worth of Lego on eBay so on top of the 200 boxes we found in his house I am sure he stole many, many more,” said DC Tidd.
“I have tried my best to find out where all the boxes of Lego came from but have been unable to find every shop because merchandise is updated so often that some of the boxes are no longer on sale. We think it is a nice gesture to offer these 200 boxes to local organisations where children can benefit from them.”