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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lego Master Hopes Pilfered S.F. Landmarks Haven't Been Stripped for Parts

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge Will Mark Benz' Lego Ghirardelli Square end up in pieces on the Internet or at a flea market? - COURTESY BENZ FAMILY
  • Courtesy Benz Family
  • Will Mark Benz' Lego Ghirardelli Square end up in pieces on the Internet or at a flea market?
Last week we reported on Fremont mechanical engineer and Lego savant Mark Benz, who had a number of giant, San Francisco Lego landmarks filched from the back of the family truck.

Despite offering a $500 reward, Benz tells SF Weekly he hasn't heard a peep about the hefty recreations of Ghirardelli Square, the Palace of Fine Arts, The Maritime Museum, Hyde Street Pier, the Conservatory of Flowers, and the U.S.S. Pampanito. He has, however, received "condolences and notes of support from people in the Lego community -- both here in California and across the country."

A number of those notes assured Benz they'd keep an eye out on Craigslist or Bricklink -- "the eBay for Lego parts," as Benz describes it. The engineer estimates the pieces in his massive models alone are worth $6,000; thieves could disassemble them in the same way robbers now fixate on copper wire.

click to enlarge Benz' four-by-five-foot San Francisco menagerie - COURTESY BENZ FAMILY
  • Courtesy Benz Family
  • Benz' four-by-five-foot San Francisco menagerie
Benz' elaborate Lego creations aren't insured specifically. Yet since the pieces were stolen out of his truck while in his driveway, his insurance may cover the loss.

"I'd love to have them back, of course," he says. "And I haven't given up hope."

And the founding president of the Bay Area Lego Users Group hasn't given up his hobby, either. He told SF Weekly he's currently focusing on a March event at the Santa Clara Convention Center featuring Lego trains.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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