Dutch teen arrested for Habbo Hotel thefts

Dutch teen arrested for Habbo Hotel thefts

Virtual pilfering included more than just bathrobes and towels

A teenager has become the first person in The Netherlands to be arrested for virtual theft following a spate of burglaries in the Habbo Hotel virtual world.

The unnamed 17 year-old suspect was arrested, and four other 15 year-olds have been questioned, over the theft of more than €4,000 worth of virtual furniture.

Dutch police said that the crimes were committed by hacking into users' accounts.

Investigators believe that the teens then moved furniture, which costs credits bought for real money, from the users' rooms and placed them in their own.

"Habbo Hotel's business model operates on selling virtual wares to people looking to customise their characters or furnish their rooms. Think digital Ikea," said Computing magazine.

The social networking website is owned by Finnish firm Sulake and claims to have 80 million registered users in 31 countries.

UK children's charity NSPCC set up shop in Habbo Hotel for three months in March this year to help in its fight against bullying.