Woman's Facebook "Friend" Burglarizes Her Home: Police - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Woman's Facebook "Friend" Burglarizes Her Home: Police



    An online relationship leads to a home break-in, burglary and arrest. NBC10's Deanna Durante has the details. (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2013)

    Police say an online relationship took a dangerous turn for an Upper Darby woman.

    The 24-year-old woman told police she met 26-year-old Mark Thomas of Yeadon during a party several months ago. Investigators say Thomas sent her a friend request on Facebook. When she accepted, the two began chatting frequently on the popular social media site.

    After several weeks of messaging each other, police say the woman finally invited Thomas over to her apartment on Powell Lane in Upper Darby on Saturday.

    The two were walking towards 69th Street when Thomas allegedly told her he had to go back to her apartment to get his sunglasses.

    “He runs around the corner, runs back to the complainant’s house, kicks the door to the apartment in, goes inside, gets his sunglasses, and then steals two rings and a cellphone,” said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. 

    When the woman returned to her apartment, Thomas , her cellphone and her jewelry were all gone. She immediately called police who say they tracked Thomas down at his home on the 400 block of Wycombe Avenue. Police recovered the items and arrested Thomas, charging him with criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass and other offenses. The woman, meanwhile, has learned an important lesson.

    “People have to understand that if you’re going to put yourself out there, you have to recognize the fact that you’re making yourself vulnerable,” said Chitwood.

    Thomas is currently free after posting $10,000 bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 20.