snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Crime

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15 September 2008, 10:09 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,626
Icon97 Five year old spent $105,000

Comment: Recently someone sent me this link, it sounds really fishy to me, and was
wondering if one of your research geniuses could look into it.

Supposedly a five year old found his father's safe open, took the
equivelant of $105,000 and went shopping with some friends and blew it
all.

I mean, c'mon, how did these parents not know where their friggin 5 year
old was? And why would store clerks sell so much stuff to a 5 year old who
was not with an adult?

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_3001489.html
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 15 September 2008, 10:29 PM
diddy's Avatar
diddy diddy is offline
 
Join Date: 07 March 2004
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 10,896
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I mean, c'mon, how did these parents not know where their friggin 5 year old was? And why would store clerks sell so much stuff to a 5 year old who was not with an adult?
I don't know the supposed 5 year old in the OP, however I question their ability to carry around that much cash without it getting stolen (assuming that there are no parents around).

I live in a neighborhood with a bunch of kids and many of the ones that are over 5 years old wouldn't be able to do this without help from somebody else (a grown-up). Second, wouldn't any responsible father tell the kid that the safe is off limits?? Of course the safe was left open, but come on!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 15 September 2008, 10:41 PM
geminilee's Avatar
geminilee geminilee is offline
 
Join Date: 02 December 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 11,515
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Second, wouldn't any responsible father tell the kid that the safe is off limits?? Of course the safe was left open, but come on!
And of course children always do what their parents tell them.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 15 September 2008, 10:53 PM
Tarquin Farquart's Avatar
Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
Join Date: 20 November 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 16,354
Default

Ah it's on ananova, must be true!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 16 September 2008, 01:03 AM
diddy's Avatar
diddy diddy is offline
 
Join Date: 07 March 2004
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 10,896
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by geminilee View Post
And of course children always do what their parents tell them.
I don't know of too many kids that have much of an interest is taking money out of a safe that is usually locked. My posting was more toward the father though who didn't think to keep his kid away from the safe.

It doesn't really matter anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 16 September 2008, 03:23 AM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,265
Default

$105,000 is a lot of money. Not just in amount, but in quantity. On average, a stack of 100 bills is 1-inch tall. Bills of larger denominations than $100 are no longer in circulation, so you'd have to assume that you'd have bills no larger than this. So, $105,000 in $100 bills is 1050 bills, or a stack that is 10.5 inches tall. Not huge, but very large for a 5-year old.

The other thing is - how many 5-year olds appreciate the value of a $100 bill? I certainly wasn't able to understand the concepts of "place value" until 2nd/3rd grade, and really, only values of less than $1 made sense. The other thing is that few 5-year olds could make sense of such large sums of money, buying things worth that much, or even counting their change correctly.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 16 September 2008, 04:09 AM
Eve MG's Avatar
Eve MG Eve MG is offline
 
Join Date: 17 December 2003
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 2,809
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
$105,000 is a lot of money. Not just in amount, but in quantity. On average, a stack of 100 bills is 1-inch tall. Bills of larger denominations than $100 are no longer in circulation, so you'd have to assume that you'd have bills no larger than this. So, $105,000 in $100 bills is 1050 bills, or a stack that is 10.5 inches tall. Not huge, but very large for a 5-year old.
But this wasn't American money, it happened in Belgrade. This article says it was 5 1/2 million Serbian Dinara. They have a 5000 Dinara note, although that's still 1100 bills... I don't know, maybe I'm just agreeing with you.

Nonetheless, I don't remember my daughter "arranging to meet a gang of friends at the mall" when she was 5 years old. Maybe it's not impossible that he slipped away from his parents, or the shopkeepers didn't ask questions, but I can't picture a little boy even knowing how to do this kind of thing.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 16 September 2008, 05:46 AM
diddy's Avatar
diddy diddy is offline
 
Join Date: 07 March 2004
Location: Plymouth, MN
Posts: 10,896
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve MG View Post
I can't picture a little boy even knowing how to do this kind of thing.
My 9 year old neighbor probably couldn't do that since she relies on adults to get anywhere. I don't think she understands the concept of that much money and what to do with it either.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16 September 2008, 06:19 AM
RoseyDawn
 
Posts: n/a
Default

This whole thing doesn't pass the "smell test" (well, at least not to my nose).

It stretches credibility that a child this young would take that much money in the first place. That the child would, even with friends presumably his own age range, be able to travel to a mall. That none of the clerks would question seeing a child this age pull out this kind of money. That none of the clerks would question some of the things being purchased by children this young, especially computers or electronics.

It strikes me as any of the following:
  1. A hoax
  2. Someone much older putting the child up to it and accompanying the child
  3. Father is in a bind and is trying to cover it up by blaming the child.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16 September 2008, 06:21 AM
Artemis's Avatar
Artemis Artemis is offline
 
Join Date: 08 October 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 6,891
Default

Seriously. I know old timers always go on about how back in the day, it was up hill both ways and parents through you outside from the time you were a fetus and told you to spend all day outside, and kids just rode their bikes ALL THE TIME, and got into scrapes, and if we got our placentas dirty, damnit, we had to clean them up, and kids today are so spoiled...but come on. A 5 year old is pretty damn helpless, even back in the day.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16 September 2008, 08:39 AM
UEL's Avatar
UEL UEL is offline
 
Join Date: 01 August 2004
Location: Ottawa/Fredericton, Canada
Posts: 8,742
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseyDawn View Post
This whole thing doesn't pass the "smell test" (well, at least not to my nose).

It stretches credibility that a child this young would take that much money in the first place. That the child would, even with friends presumably his own age range, be able to travel to a mall. That none of the clerks would question seeing a child this age pull out this kind of money. That none of the clerks would question some of the things being purchased by children this young, especially computers or electronics.
When I was five, my cousin and I found a penny, decided to go to Becker's. We walked there before we found out that a penny bought nothing, even in 1976.

Kids don't know the value of money, nor should they.

I, too, smell something.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 16 September 2008, 04:47 PM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,265
Canada

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve MG View Post
But this wasn't American money, it happened in Belgrade. This article says it was 5 1/2 million Serbian Dinara. They have a 5000 Dinara note, although that's still 1100 bills... I don't know, maybe I'm just agreeing with you.

Nonetheless, I don't remember my daughter "arranging to meet a gang of friends at the mall" when she was 5 years old. Maybe it's not impossible that he slipped away from his parents, or the shopkeepers didn't ask questions, but I can't picture a little boy even knowing how to do this kind of thing.
A quick look at exchange rates shows that it's about 54 Dinar to the dollar, so round up to 55, and 5.5 million is about $100,000 in actual value and purchasing power. I checked this just to make sure that the Serbian Dinar is not suffering from hyperinflation, like some other currencies, where it takes a few hundred thousand just to buy lunch. Turkish lira (which had 6 zeroes removed from its value back in 2003), in particular, come to mind.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 18 September 2008, 06:43 AM
boogers's Avatar
boogers boogers is offline
 
Join Date: 22 December 2000
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 2,281
Default

So a 5 year old got some moolah and spent it all on his friends instead of investing it?



Dear God, I wish I'd had that much sense.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 18 September 2008, 09:43 AM
mirfield
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I don't find it difficult to believe that a child so young could find their way to the shopping centre if public transport is good. I don't know about Serbia, but in Switzerland it's a common sight to see young children making their own way to kindergarten.

You would expect people in the shops to question a small child spending a large amount of money. Then again maybe they did... "Biscuits? Yes, young man. The ones with chocolate on are just a million Dinara...."
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 18 September 2008, 09:55 AM
Don Enrico's Avatar
Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
Join Date: 05 October 2004
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 7,392
Default

I don't know nothing about Serbian law, but in Germany, you can't enter into any legal contract under the age of seven - not even a "I'll give you 0.25 € and you'll give me that pastry" kind of contract. From the age of seven, you're under the "pocket money section" of the civil law, allowing you to enter contracts up to a amount that would reasonably be trusted to a child of that age.

So, if a five year old would spent any amount of money here, the parents would just have to return the goods purchased and would get the money back.

Don Enrico
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 18 September 2008, 11:19 AM
jw's Avatar
jw jw is offline
 
Join Date: 06 March 2006
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 5,056
Default

I can't find this anywhere else. Even the tabloid newspapers have not picked up on it.
This site says they spent the money on clothes, toys, bicycles, sweets, computers and games to the value of 60,000.

I find this very hard to believe that children could have spent this amount of cash money. Bear in mind too, that the economy in Serbia is much lower than many western countries, so $105,000 would go a lot further. Serbia GDP is about 10:1 with Ireland, meaning these children would have been getting about a one and a half million euro worth of goods.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 24 September 2008, 10:59 PM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
Join Date: 19 December 2005
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 1,376
Default

I'm almost more inclined to believe that the kid might have been able to "spend" that much, but I'm more inclined to believe that the he didn't know the value of what he was spending, and probabally got scammed out of a lot of the money as well. example, Kid goes to buy a computer (one of the things they say he bought), kid says "I want that", pulls out a stack of bills, "is this enough?" unscrupulous salesman says, "you bet! just enough! here you go kid, have a great day!" and pockets the change for himself.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 25 September 2008, 01:56 PM
Sebbenth's Avatar
Sebbenth Sebbenth is offline
 
 
Join Date: 09 July 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 1,221
Default

I would be surprised by a story like that, but I absolutely wouldn't find it unbelievable. A couple of things to note, though:

- It is quite often gets to the point "I'm so rich that I can give my kids thousands in $$$". In Eastern Europe things like this can be an actual investment into your image (well, to a certain degree, just like in USA).
- I have definitely seen kids - well, not 5-year-old, but 9-year-olds, spending atrocious amounts of money on their peers in malls. In Ukraine, that is.
- Serbia is more expensive than USA, especially if you go for the "fun" stuff like arcades, bowling and pizza.

- I still think that the story is a hoax.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 29 September 2008, 09:57 PM
apersonofsomesort
 
Posts: n/a
Icon97

It sounds like a really unlikely story. I mean $105,000 is a lot in bills, and I understand that every time you see a 5 year old in a store, they ask their parents for anything, but nowhere near $105,000 worth of stuff. I mean, that's a LOT of Fisher Price...
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 30 September 2008, 01:51 PM
Graham2001's Avatar
Graham2001 Graham2001 is offline
 
Join Date: 21 January 2006
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 729
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by apersonofsomesort View Post
It sounds like a really unlikely story. I mean $105,000 is a lot in bills, and I understand that every time you see a 5 year old in a store, they ask their parents for anything, but nowhere near $105,000 worth of stuff. I mean, that's a LOT of Fisher Price...
The whole thing reminds me of a story I read in several different sources about 10 years ago. Supposedly the father allowed his son to 'play' with a computer keyboard at his office not realizing that the computer was switched on.

Result...the company (in one version a bank) goes bust because all the firms money was sent off to random (outside) accounts and cannot be recovered because all records were erased at the same time.

Good story...Plausibility nil
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.