Criminals using Facebook to get into homes

Montgomery resident, Carolyn, checks her Facebook status.
Montgomery resident, Carolyn, checks her Facebook status.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Carolyn is a Montgomery resident who enjoys Facebook.

Like a lot of folks these days she uses social networking sites to check up on friends and post things about herself, including what she's up to on the weekend--leaving home to go to the beach.

"I've got mine set on private," says Carolyn.

But even on private, her Facebook friends can still see that status...and now they know her home is empty.

"Knowing now that someone can go on and look and say 'hey, she's not going to be there, or this is what she's doing.'  It is kinda creepy," says Carolyn.

Just this week police in Hoover, Alabama arrested two men on burglary charges.

Investigators say the thieves learned their victims were away from home through their Facebook status updates.

And while Montgomery police say they haven't seen this here, anyone who shares any information online should beware.

"It's definitely not a good idea if you're going to be out of town for a certain length of time or if you're going to be away from your home or vehicle. Any type of information they can use, they will," says Major Huey Thornton with the Montgomery Police Department.

"I think we put too much trust into it.  As far as trusting the website...trusting the web," says Carolyn.

From now on, she says she'll watch what she writes--making sure her status update isn't an invitation to crooks lurking in cyberspace.

"I think I will be a lot more careful in the future," says Carolyn.

©2009 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.