LA Burglars Target Homes on Newspaper Vacation List

Authorities say the accused broke into homes based on a Los Angeles Times subscriber list.
2:27 | 01/31/13

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Transcript for LA Burglars Target Homes on Newspaper Vacation List
there is news out of los angeles tonight about a crafty new way to burglarize your home. Authorities are accusing these four men of gaining access to a list of people who suspended their newspapers to go on vacation. And that turned out to be an invitation into an empty home. Abc's cecilia svega has more on the brand new ways that thieves are monitoring what you do. Reporter: While matt and beth robinson were away visiting family, this what was happening in their north carolina home. Security cameras catching it all. Thieves busting down their and ransacking their house. A family's nightmare, especially if you inadvertently laid out a welcome mat to thieves. This alleged burglary ring in southern california, a stunning case and point. The thieves managing to get a newspaper's list of all those away on vacation, who wanted their papers held. There may be up to 100 victims. People who came home to find they'd been cleaned out, everything from jewelry to instruments to bikes, even the coffee pot gone. Another modern day red flag, all those facebook pictures you post while off visiting the grand canyon, the beach and the snow. You might as well leave your front door wide open. You case the online profile. That's the modern way. Reporter: If anyone knows, it's walter shaw. The fbi says the former burglar and jewel thief pulled off more than 3,000 break-ins. He's reformed now and even has a book and film about his and his family's life of crime. Do the normal stuff they did 20, 30 years ago, go on vacation without bragging about where they're going. Reporter: Another tip, timers for television and lights. But not just any timers. The best way to fool them? Timers that go off at random times of the day or night. Reformed thieves share these secrets. Expensive flower pots, decorations and kids toys left outside usually suggest nice things inside. If it snows while you're away, have a neighbor create car and foot tracks. And ask them to pick up your mail and newspapers. Avoid that vacation hold. All ways to avoid seeing this. And he's in my house. I'm seeing him walking around my house. He's in my bedroom right now. Please get somebody there quickly. Reporter: While your family is supposed to be off relaxing. Cecilia vega, abc news, los angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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