Dad accused of putting girl in game machine, stealing prizes

This Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 booking photo released by the Salem Police Department shows Anthony Helinski, of Lawrence, Mass., arrested after turning himself in, and who faces charges after being accused of using a toddler to steal prizes from the inside of a toy vending machine game at a mall in Salem, N.H. (Salem Police Department via AP)

SALEM, N.H. (AP) — A Massachusetts teacher has been charged with putting his toddler into a game machine at a New Hampshire shopping mall and using her to steal prizes.

Police in Salem say 34-year-old Anthony Helinski, of Lawrence, Massachusetts, turned himself in Wednesday, five days after witnesses at the Mall at Rockingham Park recorded video of a man encouraging the girl to hand out prizes from within the KeyMaster game. The video then shows the toddler climbing out of the machine.

Andover Public Schools tells WCVB-TV that Helinski has been placed on leave from his job as a middle school teacher.

Helinski is charged with theft, trespassing and child endangerment. He does not have a listed phone number and it was unclear whether he has an attorney.

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