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Thief Posts His Photo To Facebook Victim's Account 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the criminal-status-update dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher discovered his house had been burgled; money, a winter coat, an iPod and his son's laptop were stolen. Imagine his surprise when Facebook friends of his 15-year-old son reported that a photo of the apparent thief, wearing Fisher's coat and holding a wad of notes, had been uploaded to his son's Facebook account. How addicted do you have to be to a social network to post a status update and upload your photo *while* you're burgling someone's house?"

*

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Thief Posts His Photo To Facebook Victim's Account

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  • There was a /. story a few months ago about a burglar who got busted because he used the victim's PC to check his FB status. But it is a new level of stupidity (arrogance? weirdness?) to go ahead and post a pic of yourself.

    What's next, posting to the victim's wall before you break in? Maybe to the police's wall too?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quatin (1589389)

      People who think this is stupid need to get real. This guy won't get caught. The cops aren't out on main street screening for his face. Unless he leaves his full name, birthday and SSN, the police aren't going to act on anything else. Burglary is just so low on the pecking order that they're basically ignored. Even the detectives "assigned" to this case probably have 5-6 other cases to work on.

      • by Johnny5000 (451029) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:29PM (#34591138) Homepage Journal

        Burglary is just so low on the pecking order that they're basically ignored. Even the detectives "assigned" to this case probably have 5-6 other cases to work on.

        Usually this is the case. There's generally not a whole lot of leads in a burglary case, so a detective might not put a lot of effort into trying to solve a hopeless case.

        However, a burglar doing something this stupid, leaving behind such a damning piece of evidence, that's the kind of case a detective would probably want to put a little effort into solving.

        • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:36PM (#34591264) Journal

          Wouldn't this be an assignment for Anonymous?

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          Right burglary is considered a very serious crime, because of the potential for someone to get hurt or killed if the victim turns out to be home, its also usual done at night (must be done at night to meet some definitions of burglary) when people are usually home. Society wants people to feel safe in their homes as well which is another reason the crime is punished so strongly even when little of value is taken.

          Most of the reason these cases are not solved as you say is often there is pretty little for a

          • by Yvanhoe (564877)
            And if a detective is sufficiently motivated and the victims were smart, there were probably some fingerprints on the laptop.
          • Wrong. It's not usually done at night, its done during the day when people ARE NOT HOME. Theifs want to take your crap, they don't want a confrontation.
            • by pthisis (27352)

              Wrong. It's not usually done at night, its done during the day when people ARE NOT HOME. Theifs want to take your crap, they don't want a confrontation.

              I'm pretty sure that when GP said "its also usual done at night (must be done at night to meet some definitions of burglary)" he was discussing burglary as legally defined. By common law, burglary is defined by 5 elements: (1) Breaking and (2) Entering (3) of a residence (4) at night (5) with intent to commit a felony.

              Some jurisdictions have relaxed that de

            • by DarkOx (621550)

              You might want to check out the common law definition of burglary, that is used in lots of places! One breaking into someone's house in the day time might just be "breaking and entering" a different crime. It depends on where you live. Generally burglary is considered more serious because its at night and the victim is more likely to be at home, in places that use that definition of burglary.

        • Re:Just more extreme (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sodul (833177) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:42PM (#34591372) Homepage

          My brother got several thousand euros worth of specialized equipment stolen from his work vehicle. The thief posted the equipment for sale online much lower than the going value. We found his name and address and told the cops. They know him as a drug addict who sells stolen goods ... nothing. The police told my brother that the best he could do was to show up at a meeting with the burglar (remember a hardcore drug addict), confront him and then call 911 (or local equivalent) after confirming the serial numbers match. French police.

          • Wow.

            See, I don't have a whole lot of faith in the police in general, but from my experience and what I've heard from others, generally if you do your own detective work and put together a case like that and hand it to the police, they're probably going to do something about it, if only so they have one less open case to worry about.

            I think in the case you describe, they'd either have to be seriously lazy, seriously constrained by laws/regulations, or severely understaffed to not take advantage of a slam-dun

            • by wgoodman (1109297)

              One night some drunk twat ran into my car. The next day, the neighbor girl who he had been dropping off came over and told me what happened. She came to the police station with me, gave them his name, phone number etc, signed a witness statement. They said unless she had the license plate # handy they weren't going to do anything. How hard is it to look that up in their computer? There are reasons that people have little faith in the police. It's all too often that even when we do their jobs for them,

            • I think in this case they were seriously French.
            • by mangu (126918)

              from my experience and what I've heard from others, generally if you do your own detective work and put together a case like that and hand it to the police, they're probably going to do something about it

              Same experience here. My sister's weekend home was burglarized and she and her husband gave the police a list of what had been stolen.

              A few weeks later the police caught a man who had a lot of stolen stuff in his home. It was only because they had the serial number of my sister's stolen TV that they could press charges against him.

              They told her that the biggest problem with burglary is that people don't report it so they cannot prosecute someone that gets arrested. If you have the receipts for the stolen g

          • Depends on where you live I guess. I had (presumably) a kid go through my truck and he took about $5 in change and a couple of cheap tools. The sheriff actually dusted my truck for finger prints and wrote up a report. Of course, they never caught the guy as far as I know, at least for this, but they took an interest and did investigate it. We work out of our house, so there is little opportunity for burglars to steal our stuff, but they're welcome to try. They can have their choice of 3.5" 00 buckshot,
          • They might tell you too do that in the US also, except they'll tell you to bring a gun.

        • Someone here at work had his laptop stolen. It had CompuTrace on it. We hadn't activated it, but since it was corporate (well University but they treat us the same) they were willing and able to do it remotely upon proper authorization. They did so and started to track the laptop. They and we worked with the police on this.

          It was not fast, the cops didn't grab their guns and rush out, but after a month or two, they were ready, they'd gotten what they needed, done what they needed, whatever. They had Computr

          • CompuTrace’s entire business model depends on the cops doing their job, and if the cops just blew it off, CompuTrace could go to the news media and start asking questions like “how much money do these guys get in taxes, exactly? look, we’re even giving them GPS coordinates and they still won’t go arrest the guy”.

            That doesn’t prove much. Fact is, if the cops weren’t going to publicly look completely incompetent, they wouldn’t have done anything.

      • Yeah - great point. Thief was much smarter to post this photo on the victim's facebook page than on his own!

      • by croddy (659025) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:30PM (#34591176)
        Leads, yeah, sure. I'll just check with the boys down at the crime lab, they've got four more detectives working on the case. They got us working in shifts! Leads...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Stealing used to be a hanging offense, now it is "meh". And people wonder why society has gone to hell.

        • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:59PM (#34591564) Homepage
          Knee-jerk reactions leading to hanging people for simple theft would be an indicator, to me, that society has truly gone to hell.

          They also use to think the world was flat, and there were dragons past the edges. Sometimes changing the way a society thinks over time is not a bad thing.
          • Actually they never really thought that. It's kind of an urban legend created by elementary and high school textbooks, but in general your point still stands (We can substitute, "They used to think the Earth was the center of the Universe"). Columbus was actually sailing on an invalid assumption and his detractors were right. Both knew the world was round, but Columbus thought it was considerably smaller than it actually was. He expected to reach Asia in relatively short order. How else would a reasona

            • Actually, there are people [theflatearthsociety.org] who STILL think that the Earth is flat.
              • Still is the wrong the term. That's like saying there are STILL wiccans, when Wicca is a modern invention.

            • ...with what you believe was the level of education of the supposed intellectual elite. A belief which is probably very far from the truth.
              Remember, they trialed Galileo over heliocentrism a century and a half after the discovery of America, and Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake 30 years prior.
              And if you want another utterly wrong but common belief from that time that lasted all the way to the middle of the 19th century - try bloodletting.

              BTW... I know for a fact that there are still people around who

        • Theft is a minor problem in affluent societies. We've all got a lot more stuff. So much stuff that when a bit of your stuff gets stolen you still have more stuff than you know what to do with. And it's easily replaceable too. Big difference from the days where you could fit all your things in a small suitcase and most people couldn't afford the trip to the store let alone to replace what got stolen.

        • Stuff is easily replacable thanks to cheaper costs and insurance. That's why people are 'meh', why it's no longer a hanging offense, and not related at all to 'society going to hell'. If you have proven anything, it's that society is way better today than it used to be.

    • by sentientbeing (688713) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:23PM (#34591062)
      At BurglarCon2010, there was a Q&A panel of professional burglars to amend the RFC and petition its guild members to at least make sure the house is empty beforehand by checking FB accounts and status updates.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      "The Freeze ray needs work. I also need to be a little more careful about what I say on this blog. Apparently the LAPD and Captain Hammer are among our viewers. . ."

    • by icebike (68054)

      Nothing in this story suggests that the burglar even knew what he was doing. It might have been something automatically set up by the computer owner to snap a shot each time the cover is opened. Heck, maybe the son's school put that software on there.

      A wad of hundreds and a new computer. Bait!

      I wonder if there had been prior break-ins, and this was a trap intentionally set up by someone in the household? Anyone bright enough to turn on the camera, take a picture and upload it, would be bright enough NOT

      • by TaggartAleslayer (840739) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:58PM (#34591558)

        It's obvious he's posing. This is not a "caught in action" shot. Nor is it likely that someone set up a routine to capture a burglar and upload the picture to their son's facebook.

        Your theory has a few holes.

        The likely explanation is greed, avarice, idiocy, and theft roll in together and stupidity comes along for the ride.

  • by aeroseth (228594) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:05PM (#34590820)

    It's not all about the bling yo!

  • Wow, I feel totally out of it. Someone who looks like (posing with cash and handsign) that is doing facebook and I don't. On the other hand, the geeks have won if computing has become so pervasive.

  • will some post his MUG shot as well?

  • I'll find you! ...oh well, it was probably nothing.

  • No backup? WTH? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scottv67 (731709) on Friday December 17, 2010 @03:36PM (#34591262)
    From the fine article:

    The good news, of course, is that no one was hurt, and virtually everything the burglar took is replaceable. One exception: On my son's computer, but never backed up, was one of the greatest documents ever, something he would have cherished all his life. He had meticulously kept a running list of every movie he had ever seen, hundreds and hundreds, with his comments on each. It's gone -- a reminder of the new reality that computers and Facebook have created, a world in which a document meant to last a lifetime can disappear in an instant, and a photograph meant as an impulsive gloat lives forever.

    How is it that someone has a laptop where important files (files other than the OS and apps that can be re-installed from original media) aren't backed-up to removable media or a service like Carbonite, Mozy, etc.? This isn't 1995 when "backup" meant inserting and removing multiple 1.44MB floppies.
    • by vux984 (928602)

      How is it that someone has a laptop where important files aren't backed up...

      People don't think about backups. I actually like Windows 7's backup nag... i think that's probably gotten more backups done than anything anyone else has done in the history of computers.

    • was one of the greatest documents ever, something he would have cherished all his life. He had meticulously kept a running list of every movie he had ever seen, hundreds and hundreds, with his comments on each.

      If you cherish this your whole life, you have no life.

    • You see this all the time where I work (tech support for a small university): when people don't back stuff up, it's the computer's fault for not being a stone tablet keep in a salt-cavern in Siberia. If his son had been keeping a notebook with said list in it, the loss of that notebook to fire or water wouldn't be "a reminder of a new reality where paper and ink are no match for the whims of nature." People need to realize that expecting your computer never to be lost or to break is as unrealistic as, if no
    • You, Sir, need to get out of your basement and mingle with the average computer user more often. We've got billion dollar social networks based on airing your humilitation.

    • Backups are something people just forget. Computers are generally pretty reliable these days and that fools people in to thinking they are totally reliable. They won't want to bother with backups. "Too much work," or whatever. Stays that way up until they get nailed with data loss. Then they cry about how precious their data was and so on.

      We fight with this shit at work all the time. We have some high quality central storage. redundant NetApps, backed up to LTO, rotated out to a vault. The kind of that that

      • by rsborg (111459)

        Backups are something people just forget. Computers are generally pretty reliable these days and that fools people in to thinking they are totally reliable. They won't want to bother with backups. "

        Our workplace policy is that all stuff should live on our network shares. For information that isn't on the share, and for instant recovery purposes, every computer comes with an external disk that can be used for backup or disk imaging software. We also offer something like network backup service, but few use it.

        Dealing with the crybabies is hard, but we're a bit lucky in that our management agrees that keeping the users informed and armed is the best approach, so we do monthly training sessions and spam

      • by lahvak (69490)

        Some 15 years ago, when I was in graduate school, everybody in the department (some 100 faculty members and few hundred graduate students) had all their home directories network mounted from a central location. A faculty member would have a Sun workstation on his or her desk, but all their files would be on a central server somewhere. A grad student could walk up to any public workstation or terminal and do their work from there. The admins took care of all the backups, we did not have to worry about that

        • That IS what we have. The problem is we can't force users to put their files on the storage. They have access to their local drive, there isn't a way to lock them out of that, not if you want the system to function. Also the central storage is limited. Like I said, 10GB per user unless they pay for more. Plenty for work, not for your MP3s. This is because it is expensive. The department isn't interested in spending tens of thousands of dollars so that people can have tons of expensive space so people can st

    • by rsborg (111459)

      How is it that someone has a laptop where important files (files other than the OS and apps that can be re-installed from original media) aren't backed-up to removable media or a service like Carbonite, Mozy, etc.? This isn't 1995 when "backup" meant inserting and removing multiple 1.44MB floppies.

      Seriously. When purchasing a laptop for me or a family member, I usually price in two additional things: 1) A service plan if the recipient isn't tech-savvy and 2) An external hard drive with equal or slightly higher capacity for backups. Both of these together usually don't run that much, usually only add about 10-20% to the price, but really make any time investment (usually worth far more than the device) in the laptop worth it.

      For backup, I use SuperDuper/CCC/TimeMachine for Mac, and Macrium Reflect

    • To quote a Mozy user,
      http://mozy.com/blog/misc/backing-up-hundreds-of-gigabytes-with-mozy/ [mozy.com]

      "Gregory had mentioned that there is a 5mbps upload speed cap. In my experience, it’s much lower than that. The fastest I have seen uploads are around 1.8mbps or so. So maybe a 2mbps upload cap. "

      I currently have about 1 TB of material that needs to be backed up. That will take 48.5 days to make the initial backup using Mozy...or about 2 hours to backup to another HDD. Honestly I think most people acquire or c

    • by antdude (79039)

      Also, move the backups away from the same place to avoid them being stolen too. ;)

  • when this guy gets caught he'll probably end up on Letterman's show.

  • There was an article a while back that talked about how groups of people track down someone... http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/03/05/0253253/Chinas-Human-Flesh-Search-Engine?from=rss [slashdot.org]
  • Nothing like a Black or Mexican mugshot to bring out the AC epithets. I'll miss the legitimate AC comments unfortunately...

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