Silicon Valley tech executive nabbed in false barcode scheme involving Lego toys


Bruce Newman

Ever since smartphones got their own bar code scanners, it's become commonplace for store security officers -- who carefully monitor surveillance cameras at big box chains such as Target -- to witness shoppers taking an intense interest in the computer-generated pricing codes.

But "loss prevention" officers at the Target on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino had never seen anyone take an interest in bar codes quite like Thomas Langenbach, a top Silicon Valley executive with the global software giant SAP. Prosecutors charged Monday that Langenbach used the tools of his trade -- computer codes and the Internet -- to steal a Santa's workshop worth of Lego toys. They say Langenbach brought his own bar code stickers to the store, used them to cover up the real ones, and then purchased his plastic prey at enormous discounts.

Langenbach will be arraigned Tuesday on four felony counts of burglary in Santa Clara County court.

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