nicole mineo facebook burglary
Nicole Mineo uses Facebook chat on her laptop
Back when Facebook first introduced its chat feature, I knew it was a recipe for disaster. Private messages and posts on Timelines are problematic enough without people being able to communicate in real-time. But sure enough, the chat feature has led to trouble for some. Like Nicole Mineo from Park Ridge, New Jersey, whose family was robbed after Mineo chatted with family friend Kimberly Edgerton on the social network.

"She was IMing me, asking me how I was doing, what my mom was doing ... and then she started asking me weird questions about my brother being home," Mineo told the local news.

Later that day, when her parents' house was burglarized, Mineo said she suspected right away that Edgerton and her brother, Michael, were behind it. But should Facebook be taking the fall for the crime? Nuh-uh, I don't think so ...

Mineo made it like there was no chance that the Edgertons would have been privy to the house being vacant had she not been chatting with Kimberly on Facebook. But hello, how many different ways could Mineo have communicated those very same details and compromised the security of her parents' home? It's not like Facebook itself dragged the info out of her. Or she shared something she shouldn't have via a Facebook Check-In, you know? She could have easily been chatting with Edgerton on AIM, Gchat, or, geeze, if the year was 1998, how about the phone?

The bottom line: If the Edgertons had really wanted to burglarize the Mineos, they could have figured out when the prime time would be -- with or without Facebook chat. What's more, Mineo should take some responsibility for even volunteering answers to these "weird questions." Obviously, it doesn't matter who you're speaking with or where. You can make yourself vulnerable to a crime online or off.

Here's the local news story on the burglary ...

 

Would you blame Facebook chat for this burglary?

 

Image via nbcnewyork.com