5 teens caught for hiding in Ikea Tampines after hours

The five boys were arrested after hiding in Ikea Tampines and staying beyond the store's operating hours.
The five boys were arrested after hiding in Ikea Tampines and staying beyond the store's operating hours.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Five teenagers aged between 16 and 18 have been arrested after they hid in Ikea Tampines beyond the store's opening hours.

The police were alerted to the case of wilful trespassing at No. 60 Tampines North Drive 2, where Ikea Tampines is located, at 12.52am on Sunday.

They said at the time that officers from Bedok Police Division located the five boys and arrested them.

If convicted of wilful trespass, the teens can be fined up to $1,000 each.

An Ikea spokesman told The Straits Times on Monday that the youths were found in the rugs department of the store. There was no damage to the property and the teens did not possess any goods when they were apprehended by police, the spokesman said.

"We want people to feel at home at Ikea... but an unsanctioned sleepover is simply not safe, given the warehouse operations and heavy equipment in our building," the spokesman said.

The trespassing case is believed to be inspired by a 24-hour challenge on social media, the Ikea spokesman said. The challenge dares people to hide in a store for 24 hours without being detected.

While the Swedish furniture giant takes the incident seriously, Ikea intends to write to the police investigative branch to ask for leniency for the youths, the spokesman added.

The police on Sunday reminded the public that anyone who wilfully trespasses without a satisfactory excuse will be investigated.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2019, with the headline '5 teens caught for hiding in Ikea Tampines after hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe