Police in Salem, New Hampshire has released video footage, showing a man using a female toddler to steal items from an arcade game in a shopping mall. The video footage showed a man removing items like a Gameboy DS and Nintendo Switch before pulling the little girl out of the machine. A little boy stands to one side excited over the man’s haul.

Many media outlets are calling the arcade game a claw machine, but as reported by a local media outlet, the Union Leader, the machine is actually a BarBerCut Lite, where more honest players use two red buttons to manipulate a couple of pairs of scissors.

These are then used to cut the string on which more valuable prizes are hung, including game systems.

A modern-day version of Oliver Twist

This story is like a modern-day version of the classic story Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, except in this case it is likely a man using his own child to steal for him and the loot was certainly more high-tech. No one saw him feed the toddler into the arcade game, but several people saw him stealing in broad daylight, with some catching the incident on video and photos.

It happened at the Mall at Rockingham Park in Salem at around 6:15 PM on Friday.

According to the Salem New Hampshire Police, the man is Hispanic in appearance and between 20 and 30 years of age. At the time, he was wearing a blue T-shirt, black shorts and a black Sig Sauer baseball cap. Deputy Police Chief Robert Morin said in a statement that several bystanders had taken photos and videos of the blatant crime, while others reported it to mall security.

In the video posted by the police to their Facebook page, the children’s faces have been blurred, but the man can be seen pretty clearly.

Blatant crime caught on video

In the video included below, the man can be seen reaching into the machine to take the game consoles from the toddler.

A second, male child aged between 5 and 7 years, can be heard getting excited over the stolen prizes.

The man then helps the toddler out of the arcade machine, taking the two known game consoles and reportedly other items before leaving with the children. Throughout the footage, people can be seen passing by, but the man carries on with his theft.

Witness speaks out

The New York Post reports that Hannah Forese works in the Red Robin restaurant in the mall, right across from the arcade machine. She saw something happening outside the restaurant and immediately called mall security. By the time she stepped out, the toddler was being helped out of the machine.

From what Forese could see, they had stolen several items, but the only ones she could see clearly were the Gameboy DS and Nintendo Switch.

She then saw the man and two children going up the escalator.

Two young boys had filmed the theft on their mobile phones and had handed the footage to mall security. Reportedly the arcade game is still in service, although there was some damage to the interior and the prize chute where the toddler accessed the machine.