5 boys aged between 16-18 were found hidding in IKEA Tampines store after it was closed at 11.00 pm on Sunday, 31 March 2019.
With 36,000 square meters, IKEA Tampines were monitored by security guards and CCTV cameras during the night but the kids involed had not been “spotted during the night-time round by duty manager and security,” IKEA spokesman said.
Arrested for trespassing, the boys can be fined up to $1,000 each if they are convicted.
Luckily, IKEA did not think that the kids have malicious intentions because they “did not damage property or make an attempt to steal from our store” said IKEA spokesman.
Therefore, IKEA planned to ask for leniency on behalf of the teenagers.
he also added “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.”
This case was believed to be inspired by social media 24-hour challenge said the spokesman “we believe this is a case of trespass inspired by a 24-hour challenge on social media.”
24-hour challenge dared its participants to follow just a simple rule which was to hide in a particular property such as a building or department store after it was closed and stay in that area as long as they can until the venue was reopened again in the morning or until they are caught by the staff.
Looking through the records of this challenge, IKEA stores seemed to be the most popular venue among the participants.
The beginning of the sleepover at IKEA challenge probrably came from a YouTube video named “TWO IDIOTS AT NIGHT IN IKEA” posted on August 24th, 2016 and this year, it reached almost 3 million views.
The video attracted so many attentions that IKEA spokesperson had to speak out against this trend.
“We appreciate that people are interested in IKEA and want to create fun experiences, however the safety and security of our co-workers and customers is our highest priority, and that’s why we do not allow sleepovers in our stores,” a spokesperson for IKEA told BuzzFeed News in 2016.