Facebook "Friend" Burglarizes Vacationers: Police

A single mother of three looked forward to taking her daughters on their first family vacation in two years.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Fontana family member's post tipped off a Facebook friend about a vacation in Las Vegas. Luckily, police arrived at the empty home as burglars were trying to get away with valuables. Jacob Rascon reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, 2014.

    Stacey Grant was so excited about a family spring break trip to Las Vegas -- their first in two years -- that she posted social media updates on her whereabouts.

    What she didn't know was that one of her Facebook friends allegedly used that information to figure out the best time to break into her home, Fontana police said.

    Facebook Tipped Off Thieves Family Was Out of Town

    [LA] Facebook Tipped Off Thieves Family Was Out of Town
    A Southern California family was heartbroken after their daughter’s friend allegedly used social media to assist in burglarizing their home Tuesday. Jacob Rascon reports for NBC4 News at 12 p.m. from Fontana Thursday, March 27, 2014.

    Her home was ransacked. The family was heartbroken after learning from police that their daughter's friend allegedly used their online connection to assist in burglarizing the family's home Tuesday.

    "It was hurtful," Grant said, in tears. "My whole room was trashed, there were clothes everywhere. My bed was gone."

    Police arrested Grant's Facebook friend, Michael Batson, 21, from Barstow, who she said even texted her on the first night of her trip and asked her how it was going.

    Within hours of that text message, police called the family to let them know their home in the 16600 block of Windcrest Drive had been burglarized.

    Police were already in the area when they noticed Batson, Phillip McKnight, 32, from Barstow and Tyrone Gibson, 20, from Los Angeles loading a U-Haul truck outside their home with the family’s possessions, police said.

    All three men were arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. It was not immediately clear whether the suspects have obtained an attorney.

    Police recommend making security settings extra tight.

    "It serves as a reminder to be very careful of what you post on social media sites," said Martha Guzman-Hurtado, a spokeswoman for the Fontana Police Department.