GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A Glastonbury man is behind bars after police say he burglarized and vandalized a Long Hill Road home in Guilford in December.
Residents came home to find their house was burglarized, their car was stolen, and the home was damaged so extensively that it was uninhabitable.
Guilford police say there was a total loss from damage and theft of $300,000.
“I think it’s awful,” said Jamie Schmidt of Guilford. “Guilford is such a wonderful place to live.”
Police arrested 33-year old Daniel Taylor, of Glastonbury, and later learned he and his girlfriend would identify potential targets through social media posts.
“If they post hey having a great time and it looks like they’ve tagged themselves to be present at the Hilton in Maui well if they’re at the Hilton in Maui then who’s home.,” wondered Schmidt.
The pair identified families on vacation or on extended stays away from their homes. They would then use the internet to track down the addresses and do surveillance to make sure the homes were not occupied.
Karen Modesto of Guilford says this also happened to a friend of hers in Brazil.
“They even left in Facebook a note saying thank you for letting me you know that you were away,” said Modesto.
Guilford police warn residents not to post information about their vacations until after they return home. They also encourage them to let neighbors know when they’ll be away and to fill out a form at the police department so officers can conduct a ‘house check’ while on patrol.
“Yeah I never thought to have done that before,” said Schmidt. “Basically I didn’t know that was something you could do.”
“Social media became an instrument for people to show off versus people to get in touch with and that’s what I think is the problem,” said Modesto.
Taylor is suspected of several burglaries throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts.