Justin Bieber 'Kidnapping' Plot Thwarted at Fla. Mall

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 23, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Teenyboppers don't fret - authorities thwarted a Justin Bieber "kidnapping" plot over at a Florida mall last week. The thief, David Dowling, 23, and an unnamed juvenile accomplice decided it would be a hilarious joke to nab a Justin Bieber cutout from a F.Y.E. store.

Well, the joke is on them.

It seems the thieving pair has proved that stealing a life-sized cutout is the complete opposite of "inconspicuous." An assistant manager from the store chased the duo and retrieved the cardboard cutout, reports E! Online.

And, a nearby Sears store surveillance camera caught the pair on tape with the Bieber cutout, according to E! Online.

The Bieber cutout was valued at around $34.99.

Dowling originally told police that his name was David Michael Tan and that he was 17 years old, NBC Miami reports. This master criminal plot was foiled when he authorities found an ID with his real name on it.

When asked why he was trying to pilfer a life-sized Bieber cutout, Dowling allegedly told authorities that he was "just having fun holding Justin Bieber hostage," reports NBC Miami.

Maybe Dowling needs a lesson on the difference between a real-life breathing person and an inanimate cardboard cutout.

And, a lesson on not shoplifting. It's against the law.

Dowling was arrested on account of the shoplifting and was released on a $120 bond, NBC Miami reports.

So, how come Dowling wasn't charged with kidnapping? After all, Dowling said that the original motivation for the Justin Bieber "kidnapping" was to hold the star "hostage." However, a Justin Bieber cutout is not the same as Justin Bieber. As a result, no kidnapping charges were levied against Dowling or his accomplice.

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