HILLSBORO – Two burglary suspects in two states are facing charges for breaking into several Portland area homes of vacationers who had posted their status on social media sites, according to investigators.
The break-ins were reported from “high-end” homeowners, according to detectives, in March of this year from Beaverton to Lake Oswego.
Investigators said in an unusual method, the serial burglars would pry power meters to cut the electricity to any alarm systems before they broke in.
They managed to steal more than $100,000-worth of property, including expensive jewelry, tools, furniture and even four cars.
Earlier this month, police in St. George Utah arrested 28-year-old Roseanne McCausland for possessing guns stolen in the burglaries, investigators said.
Detectives were led to the Snow Line Motel in Rhododendron on Tuesday where they arrested Thomas Phelps, 38, and raided his room, along with 2 nearby storage facilities that contained stolen property, deputies said.
Phelps was arrested for burglary, theft and criminal mischief. He and McCausland were expected to face more charges, deputies said.
A woman, who asked only to be identified by her first name, said she was one of the victims. She thinks the criminals may have seen a Facebook posting from one of her daughters that said they had left town.
When Karen's family returned from vacation, antiques, clothing and their brand new car were gone.
"Our total damage was like $20,000 [worth of possessions] It was a huge hit. Every Xbox game, every game system we had was gone," Karen said.
Police were concerned that some people may not even know items were stolen from them. People were urged to contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office and look at photos of the recovered property, to see if it might be theirs.
Police were also encouraging people to make sure their Facebook and Twitter accounts are set as "private" so strangers can not view them.
KGW Reporters Mark Hanrahan and Katherine Cook contributed to this report