(LOS ANGELES) — If you tag your location on social media or post about your home or plans, police say you could be making yourself vulnerable to theft.
A college maintenance worker in California accused of sneaking into the rooms of 33 female college students and swiping their laptops, jewelry and underwear, targeted the women from their open, public posts on social media, police say.
“He was able to openly browse the different social media platforms and find photographs,” Fullerton Police Department Sgt. Kathryn Hamel told ABC News of the suspect, Arturo Galvan.
“He would then collect the GPS coordinates from those photos,” Hamel said. “He would then place them onto a map, and drive to his victims’ locations.”
According to court records, Galvan, who appeared in court on Tuesday, is accused of stealing a quarter of a million dollars in electronics since last year.
Galvan, a father of three, has pleaded not guilty. He is currently being held in jail and will next appear in court in March.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in state prison, according to Los Angeles ABC station KABC-TV.
Police say people open themselves up to the type of crime Galvan is accused of by advertising their location online, whether it be a selfie or a check-in.
“It shows that your actual residence, whether it’s a house or an apartment, you’re not at that location,” said Joseph Orlanes of the Los Angeles Police Department. “What I would recommend is delay your posting so you kind of break the timing and break that pattern of showing that you’re not at that location.”
Cyber experts also recommend not posting pictures of your home or landmarks that could lead to your home. Experts also advise not revealing too much about your daily routine.
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