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Feature

YouTube “24-Hour Challenge” wreaks havoc among local retailers

Elise Haller | Staff Writer
Nora Touassi | Staff Writer

Playing video games, watching Netflix, sleeping. This is how most students spend their days off school. But some are spending their days in stores–not shopping, not looking for candy, but hiding in order to stay overnight.

The 24-hour YouTube challenge is when people will go into stores while they are open. They will hide before the store closes, in shelves, behind boxes, in storage rooms, or any other good hiding places. The store will then close, the people will wait for all the employees to leave, then they will come out and clown around. The 24-hour overnight YouTube challenge is going viral. From London, to Canada, to Australia, and even Mason, Ohio–people have been trying to take this on. Seth Horvath, store manager of the Waterstone Boulevard Target, confirmed that the challenge has been attempted in the tri-state area, although he refrained from indicating at which location.

“It has happened in the Mason area,” Horvath said. “ It’s company policy that I can’t tell you which store it has happened in, but we have seen it.”

Horvath said the Target corporate office sent out information to all Target stores explaining to them to take extra precaution and safety measures. Horvath said that while guests are shopping at the front of the store, others are hiding in the back.

“This is something that came about this past summer, late summer, early fall,” Horvath said. “It is something that affects retailers in a pretty big way. We operate, have guests come shop off our shelves, and ring them up front, but when the guests or teenagers or whoever it is shops, hide behind large items–toilet paper, paper towels, and diapers.”

Eighth grader Sankaran Iyer said that there should be some consequences for hiding in a store overnight.

“I don’t think people should be in the store after closing time because they have some work to do that continues the next day,” Iyer said. “It is not legal to do it for just a YouTube channel. If they say it closes at this time, you are not allowed to enter anymore. It’s their property. You can’t just forcefully enter and stay there. It’s wrong.”

Seventh grader Jacob Sicking said the challenge is a cool idea, but there should be consequences if someone gets caught. “I think it’s cool, but it’s bad if you get caught,” Sicking said. “(People who attempt the challenge should be given) a warning the first time and the second time be banned from the store.”

Eighth grade physical science teacher Laura Tonkin said the challenge is risky, and if offenders get caught, they should be charged with breaking and entering.

“It seems risky. I understand the excitement, but the consequences could be breaking and entering,” Tonkin said. “If over 18, (they) should have the same punishment as someone breaking or entering.”

Seventh grader Leah Stone said the consequences should should be jail time or a fine.

“A fine or jail time, probably 250 dollars or 500 dollars because that is the normal amount and one or two days of jail time, depending on how bad it would be,” Stone said. “I think you could get caught, and it would be very bad if you did. It’s kinda stupid for people to be doing that knowing how much trouble you could get into.”

Horvath said that his main concern is keeping their customers safe.

“It is not safe, let alone it is not a wise thing to do,” Hovrath said. “It’s not a huge problem, but it is something we don’t want to see become a big problem either. We have a good time at Target. We want our guests to enjoy themselves. We don’t want our guests to be inconvenienced or our team members to be inconvenienced by someone just fooling around like that.”

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