Hello Kitty toy trap lures boy into smash and grab

Source: Queensland Police/AAP

An eager three-year-old who took the direct approach while trying to win a shopping centre toy, has ended up stuck inside a claw machine.

Ethan Hopper loves “skills testers” and was trying his luck while his family were standing outside Coles at a Capalaba, south of Brisbane, on Saturday night.

His father Timothy looked away for a second and suddenly the curious tyke had crawled into the prize dispenser chute.

“Head in, bum in, I had no time to react,” Hopper said.

“At first, it was funny and I couldn’t help but laugh.”

Then reality sank in and he had to figure out how to get Ethan, who was “having the time of his life”, out of the machine.

“I called my dad and he said, ‘How many $2 coins do you have? We can try and win him back’,” Hopper said.

Earlier, police released a video of the unusual rescue where they extracted the little boy by smashing the glass.

“This is a first in 11 years of policing. I didn’t expect this one to come up,” responding officer Senior Constable Stuart Power said.

Despite the police presence, Ethan was in no rush to get out, with the video showing the youngster with a grin plastered across his face as he sat among a pile of popular Japanese character Hello Kitty plush toys.

Ethan’s parents had to coax him to the back corner of the machine so officers could safely remove him.

“Ethan cover your eyes. Hide,” his mother told him as officers smashed the enclosure before lifting the toddler to safety.

“You won a prize. Which one do you want?” a police officer asked as Ethan stood with his family.

During a Brisbane press conference on Thursday the little boy received another gift as well – a koala in police uniform – to remember the ordeal.

Although Ethan was a little overwhelmed by the media presence, he was quick to hug Power to say thank you.

“Police are his favourite people,” Hopper said.

The family has since walked past the now-replaced claw machine but Ethan seems to have learnt his lesson.

“He pointed to the machine and said, ‘Don’t worry Dad, I won’t do it again’,” Hopper said.


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