As mentioned by the BBC News recently, a 17-year-old girl was visiting her grandmother in Sydney, Australia when she took a picture of a “large sum of cash” while helping her grandmother count her cash savings at the home. The teenager posted the picture on her Facebook feed around 4 p.m. on Thursday May 24. Approximately seven hours later, two masked men armed with a wooden club and a knife entered the girl’s family home 75 miles away in the town of Bundanoon. Upon entering the family home, the men found the 47-year-old mother of the girl as well as a 58-year-old man and 14-year-old boy, likely her father and brother.
When speaking to the family, the two men wanted to talk to the girl about the sum of money in the picture that was posted on Facebook. After the girl’s mother convinced the two armed men that her daughter no longer lived at the address, they “took a small amount of cash and other personal property before leaving the house” according to the official police statement regarding the incident.
While no one was injured during the robbery, it’s clear that the two men were able to determine the location of the home from information posted on the teenage girl’s Facebook account. It’s also possible that at least one of the two men were friends with the girl on Facebook and were aware of the location of her family’s home.
Also within the official statement, the police reminded the public to be careful of the type of information that’s posted on social networks like Facebook. With the rise in popularity of geotagging photos with location data prior to posting on a social network, Facebook users may want to use groups to limit the amount of sharing among their entire friend’s list and avoid using public posts when publishing personal information or location data.