File picture: Sam Hodgson

Sydney -

Australia's spate of Lego heists is growing, with the toy store break-ins targeting the popular building blocks spreading across the country, a news report said on Thursday.

The thieves hit five toy stores in Sydney and country towns to the north, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing police, after starting their raids in Melbourne last week.

The discerning crooks are targeting the expensive Technic and City Lego series, ignoring baby Duplo sets and any boxes worth less than A$15, the report said. The total haul is worth A$70 000 so far.

Police said the thieves are selling them online or at local markets.

Sets of the specialised Lego can have retail prices of several hundred dollars. - Sapa-dpa