Dutch police arrest teenage online furniture thief

AMSTERDAM Wed Nov 14, 2007 6:16am EST

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch police have made their first arrest of an online thief -- a 17-year-old accused of stealing virtual furniture from rooms in the Habbo Hotel -- a popular teenager networking Web site.

An Amsterdam police spokeswoman confirmed a report that the teenager was accused of stealing 4,000 euros ($5,864) worth of virtual furniture by hacking into the accounts of other users.

Four other 15-year-olds have also been questioned in the case, which was instigated by the Web site. They are suspected of moving the stolen furniture into their own online hotel rooms.

Habbo users can create their own characters, decorate their own rooms and play a number of games, paying with Habbo Credits, which they have to buy with real cash.

Habbo Hotel is owned by Finnish Internet company Sulake which said last month it had reached 80 million registered users of its sites in 31 countries.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Dominic Evans)


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