The 'husband and wife team' who have been accused of STEALING 2P COINS from kids playing on the arcade machines. Credit: Facebook / Happidrome Arcade

In recent years, the town of Southend On Sea has seen its fair share of cases of theft being reported in the news, but it seems that a new low may have been reached this time. According to the owner of Happidrome Arcade on Southend Seafront, he has evidence to show that two adults have been stealing 2p coins from kids who have been playing on the machines.

Let’s just repeat that so we can all be clear. Adults stealing 2p coins from children who are playing on the machines.

This may sound like a storyline from a really bad TV show, but it’s clear from the arcade’s Facebook page that this is no laughing matter. It appears that they are a husband and wife team who have tried pulling the same stunt on a number of occasions before, so take a look at the original Facebook update for the full picture – it has been shared more than 4,000 times already in an attempt to warn other people about their behaviour.

Usually we’re not fans of the whole ‘trial by Facebook’ thing, but we know that the arcade’s owner would get into a whole world of trouble if it turned out to be rubbish anyway. It does show the power of social media for emotive topics – nothing makes people shake their heads in disbelief like the thought of a grown adult dipping into a 2p pusher’s win tray and nicking copper coins from some over-excited seven year old.

It does seem like there is never a dull moment in the amusement arcade business. An earlier Facebook post from the same establishment describes the moment when a family decided to use a £28,000 photo booth machine as a changing room – wet swimwear and all. If pressed, we’re pretty sure that the arcade’s owner could give us thousands more tales like it!

A little while ago, we ran one of our ‘stories’ about a prostitute called ‘Tuppeny Nudger’ who plied her trade around the amusement arcades of Southend On Sea. As it happens, perhaps we would better off reporting what REALLY goes on in these places.