Mass. man surrenders to Salem, N.H., police in arcade game theft case

Anthony Helinski, 34 of Lawrence
Anthony Helinski, 34 of Lawrence(Salem Police Department)

A Lawrence man turned himself in to police Wednesday after a video of him using one of his two toddler children to steal prizes from the inside of an arcade game in a Salem, N.H., mall went viral, police said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the video, posted on the Salem Police Department’s Facebook page, had more than 157,000 views and approximately 1,000 shares.

Anthony Helinski, 34, faces several charges after the video taken Monday by a passerby showed a young girl handing Helinski two prizes from the inside of the game, through a swinging clear door at the bottom of the Key Master machine inside the Mall at Rockingham Park.


At the end of the video, a young girl pops her head out of the machine’s opening and crawls out.

Salem, N.H., detectives received numerous tips leading to Helinski’s identity after the video was released. Helinski was confirmed as the same man in the video, police said.

An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday and Helinski, accompanied by his attorney, immediately turned himself in, police said in a statement.

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

He was released on personal recognizance and will be arraigned Oct. 29 in Salem District Court police said.

“The Salem Police Department would like to thank the media outlets who ran this story and the public for the information provided which led to the arrest in this case,” police said.

Katie Camero can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @camerokt_.