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Oklahoma State Police Ready to Collar Burglar after Matching Facebook Photo to Witness Description

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February 27, 2013
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Oklahoma State Police Ready to Collar Burglar after Matching Facebook Photo to Witness Description

With Facebook users now numbered at over one billion, the poster child for social media has worked its way into almost every facet of our lives – including solving residential crimes. For one thing, the rapid increase of home security cameras (such as FrontPoint sells) has allowed police all across the US to match pictures and video footage of burglars to their Facebook pages.

What to Share – and NOT to Share

So, now the shoe is on the other foot. And here’s why. Not long after Facebook really caught on, we reported on how burglars were using Facebook to learn who was traveling, or even out for the evening, so they could plan their intrusions. That’s when we started posting warnings on what not to share on social media. And now police are getting increasingly savvy about using Facebook to catch the bad guys. Here’s another great story about the latter trend.

A photo on the social networking website Facebook may have helped state police identify a suspect in a March 2009 burglary of a soldier's home in Oklahoma Borough. After the possible suspect bragged to an acquaintance of victim William Fawcett, whose Thorn Street home was burglarized while he was serving in the military, Fawcett matched a photo from the man's Facebook page to a friend's description of the burglary suspect, according to Trooper Todd Adamski of the Kiski Valley state police barracks.

Matching the Outfits

"The same outfit he had on in his Facebook photo was the outfit he had on that day in 2009," Adamski said. The burglary suspect was reportedly wearing a fluorescent green hooded sweatshirt and a black hat. The man's identity has not been released because charges have not yet been filed, Adamski said. During the burglary, $30 cash was stolen and $150 to $200 in damage was done to the home, police said. The suspect might be charged with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property but the trooper said he needed to consult with the district attorney before filing charges.

We’ve learned the hard way that cyberspace carries challenges along with the benefits: malware, identity theft, online charity fraud, and all sorts of issues related to online shopping. Social media is just one more arena where you need to know the risks, and act accordingly.

FrontPoint knows all about protecting your home and family – it’s our highest priority. We’ll keep on sharing great tips and news when we find them: it’s our goal to be your resource for crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders. After all, FrontPoint is the only alarm company in the country to use safer wireless monitoring in every system we’ve ever sold – and charge less for it. But what people really know us for is our smarter interactive level of monitoring. Make sure your home is protected: by FrontPoint, the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.

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