Furniture retailer IKEA is stepping up security checks after business hours at its Hong Kong stores to prevent break-ins and property damage.
The move came after video clips and photos circulated on social media showing several youths breaking into the Causeway Bay store of the Swedish company famous for its ready-to-assemble furniture and home accessories, and using it as their playground after closing time, Apple Daily reports.
It is suspected that the youths hid in the store and did not come out until after all the employees called it a day and went home.
In the clips, they are seen sleeping in beds and posing for photos in which they hold a toothbrush or a frying pan, among other activities, to flaunt their successful break-in.
Confirming the incident, a spokesperson for IKEA Hong Kong said an internal investigation will be launched while security measures will be enhanced.
In response to media inquiries, police said it received a report on Sunday that photos on social media suggested some people had broken in a store on Gloucester Road in the early hours of Sunday, adding that they are investigating the case.
Some netizens said the culprits were apparently imitating the actions on a viral internet video titled Overnight Stay at IKEA that first emerged in August 2015.
In the video, two young men hid in an IKEA store in Belgium before coming out late at night and trashing the place for an online show. The clip has inspired a number of copycats.
Lawyer Daniel Wong Kwok-tung warned that those who break into a store and vandalize the property can be charged with criminal damage.
Under Section 60 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 200), anyone who destroys or damages property belonging to others commits an offense punishable on conviction with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
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