HOUSTON - Becoming friends on Facebook ended up with a man being charged with theft and a teenager getting her stolen property back.
Keith Alexander Robinson, 18, and a teenage allegedly became friends through another Facebook friend, according to an HPD report.
The girl told police that she left town on Dec. 27 with her family and on Dec. 28, her residence was burglarized. She then told police that in February, while she was having a conversation on Facebook with Robinson, she mentioned to him that she was rearranging her bedroom. Robinson reportedly sent her a photograph of his bedroom, telling her that he had recently rearranged his room.
The girl told police that she recognized, in the photo, a stereo and television that had been stolen from her home. She also said that she compared the photograph to one that she had taken previously that showed the items in her living room prior to them being stolen.
After she showed police proof of ownership and serial numbers, a search warrant of Robinson's house was executed and the television and stereo were located in his bedroom. Police said Robinson did not have any proof of purchase.
The friend who introduced the pair on Facebook also reportedly told police that Robinson had said that he had broken into the residence and stole the items.
Police said the items were valued about more than $1,600.
"These kids, they're not thinking about this stuff. They don't know who they're friends with and they put any picture on there," said J.B. Okwumabuwa, IT manager at Nitec PC, Inc..
Robinson has been charged with theft. As of Monday afternoon, he had not been arrested. He have previous convictions on charges of assault and racing.
Be smart about what you post online
The main thing people should keep in mind when using a popular social media site, like Facebook, is anything that is posted can eventually be seen by other people who aren't your friends. Here are some safety precautions people can use:
1. Know your Facebook friends. You might have approved them because they are a friend of a friend, but protecting your friend list is the number one way to keep safe on Facebook. You're sharing your personal life with this list, make sure they aren't complete strangers.
2. Monitor your child's page. While you're taking precaution to stay safe, your child might not be. Be active in monitoring your child's social media activity looking carefully at pictures, check-in's and friend activity. In addition, keep open communication about digital responsibility when allowing your children to use social media.
3. Check your privacy settings. Facebook is constantly changing and it's best to have a routine of checking your privacy settings often. You can change who sees your posts, who can search for you, who can contact you and what your public profile looks like.
4. Choose a password that is truly unique to you. Use a combination of numbers and letters when choosing a secure password and make sure it's not the same as other accounts such as email, banking, etc.
5. Protect your mobile device. Users can register their mobile devices with Facebook so it recognizes you. Within your security settings, you can sign up for alerts should someone login from a device that is not authorized or common. Facebook also allows you to easily look at your active session logs to monitor where your account has been used. If you lose your mobile device, it's best to reset your social account passwords as soon as you're able.
6. Beware of checking-in. It's fun to let everyone know you're on vacation in Hawaii, but that also opens up the fact that you're not at home giving way to the possibility of burglary.
7. Stage your pictures. Sharing our pictures has been the best way to really show our friends what we're doing, but our pictures tell more than we realize. Enjoying a fun day outside with the kids can accidently display your home address. Be careful when posting pictures of your children. They might display the name of their school on their clothes or in the background. All this information, when carefully examined, can lead strangers right to your doorstep.
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