No one ever suspected a child when about $1600 went missing from a cellphone shop until after security cameras caught the little scamp crawling on the floor behind the counter. Now in Quangang, Fujian province, a 10 year-old girl is in hot water after being caught stealing money, quite a lot of money at that, to fund her video gaming habit.
The girl in question, pseudonym Ah Hong, was apparently stealing money from the cell phone store to purchase Q coins. Q coins are a form of digital currency used by Tencent. The coins can be used from buying add ons for avatars, stickers and digital furniture for homepages, to buying in game items for Tencent published games (most notably games that are related to the QQ Chat client).
According to the video recording, Ah Hong walked into the cellphone store at 7 pm. After looking left and right, her view landed on the unlocked register. Seeing that she could get behind the counter unnoticed, Ah Hong waited for the store clerks to relax, then she crawled all the way to the register. She reached inwards and grabbed a bundle of cash. Ah Hong walked away with 10,300 yuan ($1620).
After stealing the cash Ah Hong did as any criminal would do; she returned to the scene to purchase Q coins for her account. She spent 100 yuan.
At around 7:30 pm, the store clerks started to count the register and suddenly found that it was light. Scared and horrified that she may have lost a lot of money, the store clerk called the police and watched the security tapes. It was then that they saw little Ah Hong committing the crime.
Police then paid Ah Hong's home a visit where they discovered the remaining cash sitting in a tea box on Ah Hong's desk. The money was then returned to the store and Ah Hong was disciplined by her grandparents. Because Ah Hong is under 14, she couldn't be charged with a criminal offense.
According to the police, who wanted to find a motive to why Ah Hong stole the money, the girl did it because she had a bad gaming habit and no parental supervision. Since her father is away at work, she spends most of her time with her grandparents who are in their late 70s.
However lack of parental guidance isn't an excuse for theft and Ah Hong and her guardians received a strict talking to.
10岁女童匍匐进店偷走万元 [Sina via People's Daily]