Facebook Sign-In Could Lead To Burglary Charges
Police may press charges against group of teens who allegedly broke into the home of a vacationing family and stole money
A group of Mahwah teens are facing possible charges after one underage boy allegedly signed into a social networking site while breaking into the township home of a family on vacation, Police Chief James Batelli said.
According to police, a teenage friend of the homeowner’s son admitted to breaking into the home near Island Road and stealing $1,500 after the family found some clues left at the scene of the crime.
“In looking at one of the household computers, the [homeowner’s] daughter noticed that she recognized the name of a friend of her brother’s that was used to sign on to [Facebook],” Batelli said. “In addition, a search of the history of the computer showed that other inappropriate sites had been accessed.”
A police investigation has identified a group of teens who were allegedly in and out of the house several times during the week while the family was away, gaining entry by breaking the doorknob on a door in the garage.
“There is also indication that other illegal activities occurred in the house throughout the week,” Batelli said. “Some of the juveniles have retained legal counsel and are no longer cooperating with law enforcement on the investigation.”
An ongoing police investigation will determine whether or not formal juvenile complaints will be filed in Hackensack, Batelli said. The $1,500 has been returned to the family, he said.
According to police, this is the last in a string of similar incidents in which teenagers will break into homes of vacationing friends' families. The latest involved a group mistaken for burglars when breaking into a vacant home to play beer pong.
“There have been similar incidents to this over the summer and it stresses the need for homeowners to have their houses watched by relatives or neighbors while the house is vacant,” he said.