Facebook Pictures Tip off Homeowner to Teenagers’ Party

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If you remember the days before the Internet, you may remember that strangely special feeling you got when, for example, you saw your name and address in the phone book for the first time, or spotted your street or a neighborhood hangout on television. There was a little thrill that went with the recognition of something you knew so well.

It is hard to say if any generation of Raleigh’s population can get that feeling back, but Facebook and MySpace offered something similar: the excitement that comes from finding someone you knew years ago and spending a few emails catching up. For one man, though, the thing he recognized in Facebook pictures was his house, and the people in the pictures were strangers to him.

Browsing Facebook, the 39-year-old homeowner and father came across pictures of a fairly raucous party. The pictures showed the partygoers passed out on a kitchen floor and vomiting into a sink, for example, and, as he went through them, it dawned on him that the pictures had been taken at his house.

His teenage children discovered that the partying teens were some of their classmates. They had broken into the family’s home around the Fourth of July, when the family — including the teenagers — was out of town. The family had no idea when they returned that anything had happened, because the teens had cleaned up the house the day after the party.

The homeowner turned the photos over to police, who were able to identify most of the teenage partygoers. The person who posted the pictures on Facebook also tagged the pictures with the kids’ names. When the story broke earlier this month, police were still working on identifying the rest of the attendees; they did not specify what charges they intended to bring against the kids.

The episode may seem funny, and the teens could argue that they cleaned up after the party — no harm, no foul, right? However, they will soon realize that they could face serious charges, including trespassing, underage drinking and underage possession of alcohol, and a criminal conviction could follow them for the rest of their lives.

Source: WCNC.com, “Facebook photos point to burglary, party at Tega Cay home,” Dianne Gallagher, Oct. 1, 2012