Technology & Science

Virtual furniture theft leads to real bust

Dutch police have arrested a 17-year-old for stealing virtual furniture from users of the Habbo Hotel, a social networking and gaming website, according to news reports.

Dutch police have arrested a 17-year-old for stealing virtual furniture from users of the Habbo Hotel, a socialnetworking and gaming website, according to news reports.

The teen is accused of stealingvirtual furniture worth about 4,000 euros ($5,700) from users of the Habbo Hotel, according to the BBC and other media.

Users on the site can create their own avatars (or online character), decorate rooms and play games. These activities are purchased with Habbo credits, which users buy with real cash.

A spokesman for Finnish internet company Sulake, which owns the site, told the BBC that the furniture wasstolen by luring players into fake websites and hacking their user names and passwords.

The 17-year-old, and five other teens who are reportedly also being questioned by police, allegedly movedfurniture fromthe rooms of other usersinto their own.

"It is a theft because the furniture is paid for with real money," the spokesperson told the BBC.

Habbo Hotel has more than six million users in 30 countries.