May 10, 2011
Facebook on Both Sides of the Law – Used by Criminals, but also Helping Police
It probably comes as no surprise that FrontPoint has a Facebook page (who doesn’t these days?!). We post articles and news there for our Facebook fans, and encourage all our readers to “like us” so we can stay in touch. One thing FrontPoint doesn’t have to worry about: posting too much information on Facebook about when we are leaving the building, and then coming back to find our offices have been burglarized! But for homeowners, sharing too much information on social media can clearly be a problem. And when it comes to tipping off potential intruders, Facebook leads the pack - as this article on burglaries in West Frankfort, IL demonstrates.
West Frankfort police arrested two suspects who are accused of using Facebook to aid in their alleged crimes. The two men, both of West Frankfort, were arrested today in connection with a string of residential and commercial burglaries in the West Frankfort area over the past week, West Frankfort Police Chief Jeff Tharp said.
How Facebook Helped the Burglars
"The investigation also revealed that the suspects were able to gain important information via Facebook. The suspects observed where a person's status was updated showing that they were leaving for church. Armed with this information they proceeded to the residence and committed the burglary," Tharp said. Subsequent investigation has led to the recovery of the majority of the stolen property.
Facebook Can Work Both Ways
To be fair, law enforcement agencies all across the US are turning the tables on criminals – and have begun using Facebook against the bad guys. Since so many homeowners have installed wireless security cameras to catch intruders in action, there is a ton of footage that shows burglaries in process, with pictures of who is doing the burgling. This recent post on the FrontPoint blog describes the rapid growth of home security video – and how Facebook is helping police track down the perps.
So there you have it – social media cuts both ways. That does not mean you can slack off being vigilant about using social media wisely when it comes to personal information. On the contrary – crooks are smarter than ever. But it’s good to know that a thief’s tool can also act as a policeman’s best friend.
We want you to be in the know on any topic involving home safety and security – that’s our job. Whether we’re reporting on crime trends, burglar behaviors, or the latest in home alarm technology, you can trust FrontPoint for the best information you can find anywhere. And when it comes to security tips, we share our own along with the best advice from security professionals across the country. We want to be your one-stop for home security shopping – especially when you’re looking for safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. As the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, we have our reputation to maintain – but your peace of mind comes first. That’s FrontPoint.