Cops are searching real homes for clues in the theft of virtual items from Habbo Hotel, the teen-oriented social game that's been on the vanguard of virtual crime before. This time Finnish authorities are tracking some 400 cases of theft.

Individual users are reporting losses up to ‚ā¨1000, making this phishing scam potentially more sizable than the last Habbo holdup getting headlines, when a Dutch teen bagged about ‚ā¨4000 in virtual goods. That raised questions about virtual property, and whether stealing it should be classified as actual theft.

Finnish cops appear to be treating this as cyber-crime; but searching five homes in five separate cities in Finland show they're not treating it trivially.

Habbo Hotel claims some 100 million users.

Police Investigate Habbo Hotel Virtual Furniture Theft [BBC, thanks Clint S.]