Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thieves Invade Teen's Life after Stealing Phone - and Identity

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Thieves Invade Teen's Life after Stealing Phone - and Identity

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Doughty Crime Reporter

A TEENAGER has been left devastated after thieves stole her phone and invaded her life.

Abby Brown was horri-fied when she discovered her expensive iPhone had been taken as she enjoyed a day out at the beach with pals last week.

But the 13-year-old could never have imagined the distress a missing mobile could cause, until the callous crooks plundered her entire online life and stole her identity.

Abby was left so upset by the thieves, who pretended to be her and sent Facebook messages to her friends, that her mum, Debra Murdy, has now turned detective in a bid to track the culprits down.

And today as police continue to hunt the offenders, Debra has warned other parents and teenagers to beware of how much they share online.

The 41-year-old, said: "I was angry and upset about her things being stolen, but it is what happened next that really upset her.

It's just the intrusion of privacy.

"Once you are on someone's Facebook you can find out everything about them. They had access to a teenager's whole life."

Abby took her phone and her 'Beats Pill' mini speaker to Blyth beach, in Northumberland, last Thursday where she planned to spend the day with friends.

But both were stolen when the teens left their bags unattended on the sand.

Then later that evening when Abby was in her bedroom looking at Facebook on her iPad, she suddenly realised someone else had logged into her account and was pretending to be her.

"She came running down the stairs and said: 'Mam they are on my Facebook'" said Debra. "Then she just dropped to the floor. I went on to her wall and they were talking to her friends in a group chat. They were just being very vindictive."

Then as a further act of insult the strangers sent Abby a picture of themselves with their faces scribbled over, and a message saying; 'Enjoying the new phone and Beats Pill. …

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