The child is eight years old and a notorious thief who stole more than £1,800 from shops and businesses in Hull in just two weeks during August and September.
Police know who he is. But because he is under ten, and therefore below the age of criminal responsibility, nothing can be done to punish him for his crimes.
For legal reasons, Humberside Police can't even name him to warn other potential victims.
The youngster has taken a professional approach to his raids, usually 'casing' the locations first. He even has the knowledge to deactivate electronic cash tills.
He seems to have no conscience, stealing £210 from a Red Cross charity shop while accomplices distracted staff.
Explaining the police position, Detective Sergeant John Fuller said: 'Our investigations have led us to the fact that the boy who has committed these offences is under ten years old and therefore under the age of criminal responsibility.
'That is how the law works. We will be contacting all those affected and explaining how we came to this conclusion. We will still pursue accomplices and be seeking to charge them with theft.'
Children under ten cannot be taken to court for an offence because, in law, it is judged that they don't understand the difference between right and wrong.