I was surprised to read how many commenters on the article seemed to blame the victim. (click link to read comments). Thoughts?NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – Police in Bucks County allege a man used a friend’s posting on Facebook about going on vacation as an opportunity to steal valuables from the victim’s home.
When a Facebook friend indicated that he was on vacation, Newtown Township Police say Steve Piecznyski, 36, stole jewelry, coins and 120 DVD’s from a home on Robin Road in Wrightstown Township in late September.
Investigators say a neighbor of the victims wrote down a license plate of a suspicious car in the neighborhood and that car was later traced to Piecznyski.
According to investigators, they later realized that Piecznyski and the victim were friends on Facebook. Piecznyski was arrested on October 20th.
Piecznyski’s lawyer maintains his client’s innocence.
“Steve is innocent. He’s a hard-working family man. He’s very upset about this allegation, in particular because he is innocent,” lawyer Andrew Schneider said.
Following his arrest, Piecznyski is out on $2,500 bail.
Police say they have recovered some of the stolen items.
Is it "idiotic" to post when you are on vacation on FB?
If you have it locked down/set to "friends only" and actually know the people you have as friends (ie they're not just random Joe Bloe's you picked up while playing Farmville or something), then I think most people wouldn't think twice about posting they were on vacation. Most people tend to trust their friends or they wouldn't be friends in the first place, no? I know I wouldn't "friend" anybody I didn't know/trust anyway.
That's just stupid. Telling "friends" you're going on vacation is no different than posting "back to the Monday grind" or going to see a movie. People know when you are going to be gone.
A co-worker was recently out of the country. I could easily get his address (through legal means) but that doesn't I can go steal his stuff.
Several of my friends have been burgalized within a week of moving in to a new place. Should they have moved in during the middle of the night so neighbors couldn't seize an opportunity to break the law?
If you've got a public profile and 813 friends, then it probably isn't wise to post stuff like that.
However, if your profile is only viewed by friends and you only "friend" people who you know reasonably well, then I don't think it is any more risk than telling people (coworkers or whatever) that you are going away.
Personally though, I'm really cautious with fb. I don't post that I'm going somewhere. If I want to say something about it, I'll say it once I'm back.
That's awful that it happened. But yeah, can't blame the victim. Even if he left his windows and doors open. The criminals are still the criminals, not the person who was criminalized.
I liked this comment on the link "Wow… these comments… I wonder how the comments would read if the headline went something like this: “Husband Cheats on Wife After She Tells Him She’ll Be Home Late”"
I wouldnt 'blame the victim' as I dont think they really did anything wrong by posting, and unless they left the door open with a big 'rob me' sign they did not invite someone to rob them. It is all on the criminal.
But that said, I dont post when I am away, and I think it is a bad idea to do so. Social media is a playground for criminals. They just arrested a serial rapist/killer near us. He found all his victims on facebook. My husband is RCMP and they see this sort of thing all the time. People are often not 'friends' with all the people they are 'friends' with on facebook, not to mention the new feature on facebook where I can see my friends, friends, statuses if my friend commented on them.
I love my facebook, and would be lost without it. Friends and I use it to co-ordinate our playgroups, bookclubs, birthday parties, etc. But I think it is important to be aware that what you post there can become pretty public knowledge, so you need to be careful.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
But no need. Most people are at work during the day, and I know when certain neighbors are home and gone.
As for finding victims on facebook, killers also find their victims in parking lots, at bars, working the streets, houses, college dorms, following them home from the post office...
criminals will never be at a loss for victims.
The problem with sites like facebook (IMO) is that they are so impersonal people forget that there are real people behind the words and stop being as careful. And people are on it so much that they get really comfortable. It stops being the dark parking lot you have never been in before (slightly creepy) and becomes more like the one you walk through every day on your way off work. Nothing ever happens, and you get comfortable....until the day something bad does happen.
Of course there are millions of ways that criminals find their victims, but that doesn't mean that we just give up and let them come, at least not for me. I am going to do whatever I can to protect myself and my family. That includes, but is not exclusive to, restricting the information I give out on facebook.
Mom to Arianna (5), Conner (3) and Trent (my baby)
Ah, I guess the many of the commenters on this article have never made a stupid mistake then? We have all learned lessons the hard way. Yes, not so smart to post vacation (or other private information) on FB, especially depending on your audience and privacy settings. But who is to say this "friend" of his couldn't also have over heard a conversation the victim had about his vacation IRL and have committed the same crime?
Not a fan of the "blame the victim" mentality. It's all well and good until you are the victim yourself...