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Tarentum man's home burglarized after he announces absence on Facebook

| Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 1:33 a.m.

A Tarentum man said he will change how much information he makes public after his home was burglarized while he was in Paris — something his friends knew from reading his Facebook posts from there.

Matt Struhar, of the 500 block of Roup Street, used the social media to tell his friends that he was going overseas. He also sent updates about enjoying restaurants and museums.

He's not blaming his posts for the timing of Sunday's break-in, but he's changing what he posts on Facebook and when, anyway.

As he was arriving back in the United States, several men decided to break into his house.

Struhar said he was pulling in front of his house about 11:30 p.m. Sunday when he was startled to see at least two burglars running from the house.

Tarentum police Chief Bill Vakulick said the house was ransacked.

“We have no report of anything taken,” he said.

Struhar said one burglar left something that police can check for DNA evidence. Vakulick said police also have fingerprints and footprints to examine.

Police also are investigating a Monday night burglary of copper pipe from a house on Porter Street in the same neighborhood, but there haven't been recent burglaries there, Vakulick said.

Struhar said he doesn't think that someone read his Facebook entries to learn that he was away, but that's possible.

“It's probably more of a coincidence,” he said.

Even so, Struhar, who will soon open a pizza and sandwich shop in Brackenridge, said he may limit posting details about his whereabouts.

In a Facebook posting on Monday, Struhar said he is having an alarm and cameras installed.

“It is a shame,” he posted. “But the idiots left some compelling evidence behind that I pointed out to the police. As soon as the items they left behind are processed, I'm certain there will be an arrest. I will happily post their name all over FB for what they did to me!”

Vakulick urges people not to post where they are when they leave their homes.

“I've even seen updates from some people while they're at the beach,” he said, “and that's an open invitation if the wrong people read it.”

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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