Facebook Update Leads to Robberty in New Albany, IN
A couple leaves for the night, only to come home to a home that has been robbed. This CNN report gives a few good tips on how to keep safe if you are going to leave your residents. First and foremost, be careful whom you tell.
You're watching a burglary in progress. What the bad guys don't know is that a security camera inside this Indiana home is recording their every move.Even when they get this close, the cameras blinking red light goes unnoticed. On the night of the breaking, Keri McMullen does what she has done 100 times before. She posted a Facebook status update from her cell phone. She and her fiancé Curt Pendleton were going out for the night to see a band.
“Heading to the hill with Kurt to see Fire Department,” She wrote at 5:46PM. Within hours, Keri’s sense of security would be shattered: “You never think it’s going to happen to you, but when it does… you know anything can happen to you.”
At about 8:45PM March 20th, about 45 minutes after Kurt locked the doors that night, these guys busted in. In a stroke of luck Keri and Kurt had just setup security cameras in their home, 6 days before the break-in. One outside, and one right here in the living room. In fact, the very same camera recording me right now, captured the bad guys on video tape too. When they returned home that night, what they saw on their security camera tape, stunned them. They watched as the burglars tore their 50 inch plasma tv right off the wall.
“You can see them just manhandle it, and rip it right off the wall with all the drywall falling down.”
“And that night, did you watch, this together?”
“Yeah, several times.”
“Were you stunned?”
Keri and Kurt reported the break-in but did their own police work too. They posted snapshots from the suspects in the video on Keri’s facebok page. Within hours, another Facebook friend, recognized one of the suspects.
“Someone, contacted Keri, and said, I know who that is, and so do you. He’s one of your friends.”
That’s right, one of the men on the tape, Keri says, is her Facebook friend Sean South. Police have charged him and the other suspect with a felony. Both are still not he run. Keri said that she and South were childhood friends. She’s known him since she was seven.
“You didn’t recognize him… or did you?”
“I did not… um… I’m not seeing him in 15-20 years. Once I went into his page and all his pictures and stared looking, I mean, it’s the same posture as… it’s definitely him.”
Floyd County Sheriff, Daryll Mill, says South faces Criminal charges in at least 25 other cases in his county, including burglary battery, and stolen property. He says people need to be more cautious: “You never know who is looking at your private information there, it’s really not private if it’s on Facebook, you’re posting it for everyone.”
One internet security expert told me, updating your status on any social networking site before going out for the night or on vacation, is as good as leaving a key behind for the burglars. In Keri’s and Curt’s place, all the suspects had to do was call the bar she said she was going to and find out what time the band was coming on. Then police say, they knew what time would be safe to break in.
“I was kind of sad that someone I trusted enough to put on my page would take advantage of me like that.”
Before it was over, the burglars had stolen almost $11,000 worth of goods. Keri would have defended Sean South, but after the burglary, he deleted his Facebook profile. Randy K. CNN New Albany, Indiana.