The Burglar Wants to Be Your Facebook Friend

Posed with stolen goods

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A home burglary suspect seemed to add insult to injury at the home of Washington Post journalist Marc Fisher. The suspect also broke into the Facebook account belonging to Fisher's son and posted a photo of himself with some of the items he stole. (Published Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010)

    Facebook’s popularity continues to skyrocket -- and not always in ways you might expect. The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher says a burglar broke into his home on Friday morning, mainly targeting possessions of Fisher’s 15-year-old son. The thief took the teen's laptop, iPod, some saving bonds and cash.

    But the alleged burglar didn't stop there -- taking his escapade to the Internet. According to the journalist, before the burglar left the house, he took a picture on the laptop's webcam, posing in Fisher’s new winter coat and pointing to the cash he was about to steal. Then he posted that picture to the teen's Facebook page, Fisher said.

    "I’ve seen a lot, but this is the most stupid criminal I’ve ever seen," D.C. police officer Kyle Roe told Fisher.

    But whether this guy is stupid or just plain arrogant doesn’t matter much -- he still hasn’t been caught. Fisher writes that he expected an apprehension to be easy, "a slam-dunk," considering the picture clearly shows the suspect's face. But two officers told Fisher that D.C. police rarely push burglary cases because most courts let people off with just probation.

    According to Fisher, burglaries are up 11 percent in D.C. this year as most other crimes continue to drop. And nationwide, only 12 percent of burglaries were solved last year. But Fisher said Facebook is putting forth an effort to keep this pattern from continuing.

    After Facebook learned of the posting, security investigators from the social network secured his son’s account and began tracing any online movements of the thief. And if and when D.C. police ask for it, Facebook says it will hand over information about when and where the computer was used.

    "Facebook strives to respect the balance between law enforcement’s need for information to aid criminal investigations and the privacy rights of our users," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told Fisher. "As a responsible company, we adhere to the letter and spirit of the law."