If you plan to log into your Facebook account and announce to the world that you’re heading to the beach for the weekend, you might want to append the status update with a warning that your home is under 24-hour surveillance, you have a 140-pound Rottweiler who hasn’t eaten in a week and that you own a really good alarm system.
If you don’t, you personal belongings could be fodder for some tech-savvy burglars.
According to New Hampshire’s WMUR Channel 9 News, three local men, Mario Rojas, Leonardo Barroso and Victor Rodriguez, have burglarized more than 18 homes in the Nashua area of New Hampshire simply by checking status updates on Facebook and then pillaging houses of victims who announced on the social network that they were not home.
Police told the news outlet that they recovered between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of stolen property as a result of the investigation.
According to local police, investigators tracked down the burglars by listeningd for the sound of a specific kind of fireworks stolen from a home. When they heard it, they apprehended the suspects and their loot.
A Web site called Please Rob Me had noted when people informed the world they weren’t home by their status updates and check-ins on some location-based social networks. But the site has since shut down, noting that the site’s founders are “satisfied with the attention we’ve gotten for an issue that we deeply care about.”
Ron Dickerson, captain of Nashua’s Police Department, told the local news that people need to “Be careful of what you post on these social networking sites.”