One family in Indiana became the victims of a home burglary recently, and they are apparently blaming a social media post for their stolen items.
ABC 8 News reports that the robbers allegedly took several high-priced electronics and a collection of firearms. Ryan Merkel of West Lafayette opened up to the news outlet and shared a complete list of the items that were stolen from his home.
“They took a brand new TV, a new Xbox One, the old Xbox and the TV in the bedroom. And my gun collection… Well I knew my kids were going to be upset. I feel that they won’t feel safe in their own home.”
According to Merkel, most of the items that were stolen from his home were actually Christmas presents.
Merkel and his family apparently blame a social media post for becoming the targets of the alleged robbers. He even claimed that his father’s old philosophy of having “one true, good friend” came to mind when he thought about the “friends” that are generated online via social media.
What was the nature of the social media post in question? Did Merkel post a picture of all of the soon-to-be-stolen items on his Facebook page or Instagram profile?
According to the report, the blamed social media post did not have anything to do with the stolen electronics or firearms. On the contrary, the post focused on the main reason why Merkel was not at home on Thursday – the birth of his newborn son.
ABC 8 News reports that Ryan’s wife went into early labor, which left the home vacant since they were at the hospital. When they finally shared the news of their newborn child making his way into the world, they felt as if someone may have taken advantage of the situation and broken into their home.
A family member congratulated the Merkel family on their new addition – a post that could have possibly given the alleged robbers the heads-up that they needed to make their move.
“My son is born and it was in the middle of the night and by the time he was born it was posted at that time… I want families to be aware that there are people out there that are willing to take advantage of you at your highest point.”
Merkel further explained that the alleged robbers essentially had plenty of opportunities to rob him before his son was born. For instance, he reportedly worked nights nearly a week before the burglary occurred – even during the holiday season – and the family experienced no problems or even concerns.
However, Ryan feels that the social media post confirming that neither he nor his wife was home may have influenced the alleged robbers to move forward with their plans of breaking into his home.
One survey claims that over 75 percent of convicted burglars confessed to using social media posts to target their victims.
How exactly can a single social media post make your home the targeted victim of a robbery? Studies confirm that it depends on how much information is revealed by the actual user through his or her social media account.
For instance, within a single post, you can let the rest of the world know what you have, where you live, and how long you are going to be away from home. Perhaps it is just a simple status update about your day at work or the frustration of running errands.
On the other hand, you may consider sharing pictures taken on your vacation while you are still far away from your home – perhaps out of the state or even the country.
Your intentions might be to just share this information with your close friends, colleagues, and family members. However, it is apparently clear that the publicized information offered within a single social media post could also lead to unexpected crimes.
[Image via Dollar Photo Club]