Nov 17, 2007

Police arrested virtual thief

A real arrest, for a virtual crime! Dutch police have arrested a teenager who stole £2,500 worth of virtual furniture from an online hotel. Authorities said in what was the first case of its kind the 17-year-old was arrested after playing Habbo Hotel - an international game and online community.

The game, which has individual communities in 31 countries and a yearly turnover of £3 million, allows players to create virtual characters, or Habbos. These characters can take their own rooms in the hotel, which they can then decorate with their own furniture. The furniture is purchased with special Habbo credits but the credits are paid for with real money.

The teenager had hacked into the accounts of other Habbo community members and taken their furniture and put it in his own room. The 17-year-old has been charged with hacking and burglary.

A spokesman for Sulake, the company that operates Habbo Hotel, said: "The accused lured victims into handing over their Habbo passwords by creating fake Habbo websites.


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