Man Accused of Having Tot Steal From Inside Game Machine - NBC 7 San Diego
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Man Accused of Having Tot Steal From Inside Game Machine

In video of the incident, the toddler is completely inside the machine, handing out prizes

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    Man Allegedly Had Toddler Steal Prizes

    A teacher in Andover, Massachusetts, is accused of having his toddler steal prizes from a game in Salem, New Hampshire.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018)

    A man who allegedly had his small child climb into a game machine and steal various items at a New Hampshire mall turned himself in to authorities Wednesday.

    Salem police identified the man as 34-year-old Anthony Helinski of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

    Helinski is a teacher at Doherty Middle School in Andover. Parents there can't believe he was the man seen in a video prompting a toddler to steal prizes from a KeyMaster game inside the Mall at Rockingham Park around 7 p.m. Friday.

    Police had received several tips after releasing the video of the incident last week. An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday, and Helinkski immediately turned himself in with his attorney, police said.

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    In the video, the toddler is completely inside the machine. You can see her hand out the prizes. Another child, between the ages of 5 and 7, is seen standing nearby and can be heard saying "yes" when the prizes are passed out from the small hole.

    "She could have gotten stuck up there," said one Andover parent after seeing the video. "Also, not a great lesson to teach your kid."

    With some help from Helinski telling her how to maneuver, the little girl eventually comes out of the machine.

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    Helinski was processed on three counts of theft by unauthorized taking, two counts of criminal trespass and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

    While he is out on bail Wednesday, Helinski did not come to his door when NBC10 Boston attempted to speak with him.

    He is due to be arraigned on Oct. 29 in the 10th Circuit Court District Division - Salem.

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    According to a statement from Andover Public Schools, Helinski has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

    "One of our teachers at the Doherty Middle School was involved in an incident in Salem, NH last week. Andover Public Schools is fully cooperating with authorities. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation," said a spokesperson for the district.