According to news reports, Dutch police have arrested an unnamed 17-year-old on suspicion of having stolen 4 000 € worth of virtual furniture from other users in Habbo Hotel. The teenager is said to have hacked into others’ accounts and transferred the items into his own account.
This kind of incidents are not uncommon in various virtual worlds and other services where valuable virtual property exists. But what caught my attention was the somewhat large alleged value of the loot as well as the fact that the suspect is said to be charged with “burglary” in addition to the hacking crime. Burglary, at least in English common law, means breaking into a building with the intent to steal.