On Sunday morning, the police arrested five teenagers for trespassing into the Ikea Tampines store. Now, fresh reports suggest that the teenagers could have been inspired by the 24-hour challenge that is now viral on social media platforms.
The alleged convicts were aged 16-18, and they were hiding in the building since the store was closed on Saturday night at 11.00 PM. After the arrests, Ikea spokesperson revealed that the teenagers did not try to steal anything from the store, and all they wished was to stay there for 24 hours.
"We do not believe they intended to harm Ikea. We believe this is a case of trespass inspired by a 24-hour challenge on social media. Our store spans 36,000 square meters and the kids involved managed to hide from our security guards and CCTV cameras at the time of closing," Ikea spokesperson told Today Online.
The spokesperson also added that this move of teenagers had posed a major risk to their own safety, and made it clear that sleepovers in the night are not that safe, especially during the time of warehouse operations.
"These kids made a serious mistake that posed a risk to their own safety and we take it seriously but we also have a company culture that allows people to make mistakes — as long as we learn from them. We know that Ikea feels like home and many people come to Ikea to have a great day out — but unsanctioned sleepovers are simply not safe, given the warehouse operations and heavy equipment in our building. The safety of people in our store is our top priority," added the spokesperson.
The company is also apparently planning to request the police for leniency, as the intention of the teenagers was not meant to cause any damage to the store.
The popularity of 24-hours challenge is now gaining rapid popularity all across the earth. This challenge was initially introduced by two teenagers in Belgium when they successfully hid in an Ikea store there. From then on, the challenge became viral on social media platforms, and people started embracing various weird ideas to complete it.