Police looking for teens who spent the night in IKEA as part of viral challenge

Police are looking into an incident last week were a group of teens were reportedly taking part in the 24-hour IKEA overnight challenge. Photos via Instagram and Apple Daily video.

IKEA already has a rep as a place people will occasionally take an unauthorized snooze on the display furniture, but a new viral craze (yeah, we hate the term too) is taking that concept to an entirely new level: spending the entire night.

And the dopey stunt, dubbed the 24-hour IKEA overnight challenge, has finally made it to Hong Kong.

Police are currently trying to track down four teens — three boys and one girl — who posted photographs and videos of themselves on social media hiding inside the Causeway Bay IKEA store after closing time.

The incident was first picked up by online forum HKGolden, and was reported by Apple Daily today.

Videos of the quartet’s late-night antics — which reportedly took place on July 2 — were posted on Instagram stories, then yanked down, but not before the newspaper managed to get a few screengrabs. One of the videos had the caption “success,” while another shows someone lying in presumably inexpensive though well-crafted bed with the tag #IKEAovernightchallenge.

One of the teens who took part in the challenge, known only as “Ray,” posted a photo on his Instagram account of himself with two of his accomplices — posing with a toilet brush, ladle, toy monkey, and one person draped in some of the store’s rugs — with the caption “the air con at IKEA is really cold.”

Screengrab via Instagram.

It’s not known how old the teens are, but Apple Daily reports that that group attend a “famous school” in the Kowloon.

One of the teens posted on his Instagram stories yesterday that he was waiting for his exam results and had applied for places at at least two universities in the UK. We’re not sure if this nonsense qualifies as an extra-curricular activity or not.

An IKEA spokesperson confirmed to Apple Daily that they are carrying out an internal investigation into the store’s security measures, and bolster the security at the store, and police said they were looking into the matter as well.

An attorney named Daniel Wong told the paper that the incident could be treated as a case of destroying or damaging property under the Crimes Ordinance, where the maximum penalty is 10 years in jail.

The IKEA overnight challenge began in 2016 when two Belgian teens spent hours in a closet inside a store, and the duo’s antics have since then inspired other young people to do the same.

The video — which has 2.7 million views — has since sparked a series of similar viral crazes including the 24-hour fort challenge, where participants reach a store before closing time and try and build a fort — by moving shelves or products — and hiding inside until the store re-opens.

In February, an 11-year-old boy in the UK sparked a police hunt when he did not return home from school. Police found him the following morning hiding in an IKEA store, where he claimed he was duped by friends into taking part in the challenge.

For what it’s worth, Coconuts editors have no plans to join in the fun, though if we did, there would be a lot of missing meatballs.

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