Facebook Chat Led to NJ Burglary: Police

A Facebook chat with a family friend resulted in a burglary, the victim says

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Two siblings are charged for the incident in Park Ridge, N.J. Police say the victims and the suspects know each other. Pei-Sze Cheng reports. (Published Sunday, Mar 25, 2012)

    Police in New Jersey arrested a brother and sister after the two conspired to rob a family friend through Facebook, they say.

    Kimberly Edgerton and Michael Edgerton are accused of breaking into the home of their friend Nicole Mineo in Park Ridge, N.J., in a targeted attack after chatting with Mineo on Facebook and learning her parents were out of their home.

    "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, a 25-year-old teacher's aide, told NBC New York.

    Mineo said she did not have a reason to be cautious when her good family friend Kimberly Edgerton started instant-messaging her. But several hours later, Mineo's mother told her that someone had broken through the back door of the house, ransacked their bedrooms and took their jewelry and laptop computers.

    "I knew right away who it was because then it all started to fit together, why she was IMing me, why she was asking about my whereabouts," said Mineo.

    Park Ridge Police said they went to look for Kimberly Edgerton and her brother Michael at their home on Warren Road. On the grass in front of the house, police say they saw one stolen item. Other items turned up when they searched the home.

    "We were able to recover pertinent information and evidence from the scene, which actually linked directly to the scene of the burglary," said Sgt. James Babcock of Park Ridge Police.

    Police arrested 27-year-old Michael Edgerton and charged him with burglary and possession of marijuana. They also arrested 29-year-old Kimberly Edgerton for receiving stolen property and hindering apprehension. Both have been lifelong friends of the Mineos.

    For the Mineos, the shock of losing personal belongings was overshadowed by the feeling of betrayal.

    "I think there's a substance abuse problem," said Peter Mineo, Nicole's father. "They're so desperate that they planned this thing."

    Laptops can be replaced, but Nicole worries about her mementos, like the ring her grandmother gave her. She says she's learned a valuable lesson.

    "Never share any information on Facebook because people we trusted came and vandalized our house, and it all began with Facebook that day, at 2:30 in the afternoon," said Mineo.

    Michael Edgerton and Kimberly Edgerton could not be reached for comment.

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