Police call it a “cautionary tale” that raises questions about the information that people post on their social media accounts.
Arturo Galvan, a 44-year-old father of three young girls, is accused of using social media to stalk women and steal items from their homes.
According to the Fullerton Police Department, Galavan used photos posted on Instagram and other social media sites to pinpoint where women lived. Then, according to police, he would break in and steal their computers, iPads, televisions – and their panties and bras.
“He seems to be fixated on college-aged women,” said Lieutenant Andrew Goodrich in a press conference.
Cops believe that Galvan is responsible for at least six burglaries with 24 victims since October.
Fullerton Police Sergeant Kathryn Hamel tells The Los Angeles Times that Galvan identified his victims by loitering around public places and searching for social media posts where people “checked in” to those locations.
Then, according to police, he would peruse the photos that they posted on Instagram and Facebook and obtain the GPS coordinates embedded in the pictures. He allegedly used that data to pinpoint where the women lived.
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Cops say that he would then break into the residences – sometimes while the women were home – and steal their panties and bras, along with other valuables.
“Galvan’s arrest serves as a cautionary tale for users of social media who post photos on Instagram and other Internet sites,” the police department said in a statement that also urges users of social media to check their privacy settings on their mobile devices.
Authorities arrested Galvan on Saturday night after receiving a report that he was prowling through a neighborhood. After a three-hour search, he was arrested on suspicion of burglary, receiving stolen property, peeping and prowling, and resisting arrest.
“A garage-full of stolen items was recovered from Galvan’s home on Monday following the issuance of a search warrant,” the Fullerton Police said in a statement.
Galavan has posted $200,000 bond; no court date has yet been assigned.
PEOPLE’s calls to a number owned by Galavan went unanswered, and he has not returned social media messages for comment. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.