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"People ask me how I do research for my science fiction. The answer is, I never do any research. I just enjoy reading the stuff, and some of it sticks in my mind and fits into the stories."
- Frederik Pohl

Virtual World Theft  
  A method of stealing or reassigning ownership to items of value in virtual worlds.  

Sergeant Sue Smith, of Meadowplace Road Station, is called in to investigate a rather unusual robbery. She quizzes Wayne Richardson, the Marketing Director for Hayek Associates.

"...Linda called me out - she's in derivatives and border controls - because there was something flaky going down in one of the realms we manage for Kensu International. It's in the prestige-level central bank for Avalon Four. There was a guild of Orcs - in a no-PvP area - and a goddamn dragon, and they cleaned out the bank. So we figured we'd call you.

[Sue] stares at Wayne Richardson, Marketing Director, in mild disbelief.

From Halting State, by Charles Stross.
Published by Ace in 2007
Additional resources -

So, you take a look at the bank security virtual "camera" footage, looking for clues:

The doors are three times as high as a tall man, carved from giant ebony beams clasped in a frame of some silvery metal... But they're not silvery now - they're glowing dull red, then a bright, rosy pulse of heat lights them up from the outside, and the doors begin to collapse inwards...

In through the smoke marches a formation of monstrous soldiers. They're larger than life and twice as gnarly, prognathous green-skinned jaws featuring tusks capped in gold...

"You're looking at an Orcish war band... The thing behind them is a dragon. They seem to have brought him along for fire support...

Over the space of a minute they denude the floor of the bank, snatching up the treasures that are inexplicably popping into view from the ethereal vaults...

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Halting State
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Stross
  Tech news articles related to Halting State
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Stross

Virtual World Theft-related news articles:
  - Virtual Theft From Habbo Hotel
  - $200K In Bitcoins Stolen

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