UPDATE : 2018.11.15 THU 14:32
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5 youths booked for stealing dolls from claw machine

Police said Monday they have booked five youths without physical detention for being allegedly involved in a break-in of a claw machine to steal dolls by entering the machine through its exit which is slightly larger than an A4 sheet of paper.

According to the Dongbu Police Station, one of the five, 18, identified only by his surname Lee, managed to crawl into the exit of a machine at an unattended shop in the southwestern city of Gwangju around 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 25 and take seven dolls worth 45,000 won (about US$40) from it.

The other four, all his friends in their late teens or early 20s, stood as lookouts while he stole the dolls.

This photo, released by police on Feb. 20, 2017, shows an 18-year-old youth entering a claw machine at a shop in the southwestern city of Gwangju. (Yonhap)

The exit, which is 210 millimeters wide and 297 millimeters high, hardly appears large enough to admit a man, and will just barely admit an A4 sheet of paper.

But CCTV footage at the shop showed Lee, who has a skinny figure, on his back pushing the upper part of his body through the exit and reaching the coveted dolls.

The five decided to steal the dolls after spending 30,000 won failing to get any dolls from the machine, police said.

Police are investigating into whether Lee and the four accomplices committed other similar crimes.

In October, rescuers removed an inebriated woman, 20, from another claw machine for dolls after she crawled into the game machine's exit following frustration over her failure to get any dolls from it.

A rescuer works to get an inebriated woman out of a claw crane for dolls in the city of Incheon, west of Seoul, on Oct. 17, 2016, in this photo released by firefighters. She crawled into the game machine's exit following frustration over her failure to get any dolls from it. (Yonhap)

The woman, 20, got herself stuck inside the machine in the city of Incheon, west of Seoul, around 4:00 a.m. on a Monday morning, before being rescued. Rescuers, who were mobilized to the scene after receiving a tip from one of her acquaintances, cut through the machine's cabinet with a motor drill. (Yonhap)

Jin Jae-yeon  edt@koreapost.com

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