Crime

Police: N.H. Burglars Use Facebook to Target Homes

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Be careful what you post on Facebook, especially if you are going to be away from home for a while -- burglars could use that information to break into your house. That's just what happened dozens of times in New Hampshire.

Police in Nashua arrested three men in connection with some of the 50 burglaries in the city last month. Investigators say they used Facebook and other social networking sites to determine when people would be away, and then broke into their houses.

This was a lucrative operation -- police said they recovered between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of stolen property.

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"Be careful of what you post on these social networking sites," said Capt. Ron Dickerson. "We know for a fact that some of these players, some of these criminals, were looking on these sites and identifying their targets through these social networking sites."

They were finally nabbed because they allegedly stole the wrong thing -- fireworks. Police say it was a very specific type of firework, so they told officers to be on the lookout for it.

"The burglary unit advised all the officers within the department that there was a large amount of fireworks that were stolen, and if they heard any fireworks going off or come across anyone in possession of a large amount of fireworks to be suspicious and investigate," Dickerson said.

When an off-duty officer heard fireworks going off, he investigated, and found packaging that matched the fireworks taken in one of the burglaries.

Three men, Victor Rodriguez, Mario Rojas and Leonardo Barroso are under arrest. More  arrests are anticipated.

"These three or four and maybe more, depending on where this leads, are in the business of burglarizing homes. That's what they do," said Chief Donald Conley. "That's what they do for a living, and it wasn't going to stop."

So far police say they have linked the crew to 18 of the burglaries, but they are looking into whether the men are responsible for more.