The sole administrator for the Facebook group “SCV Buy/Sell/Trade” was arrested April 11 on suspicion of burglary charges.
At approximately 9:46 p.m., deputies responded to the 21200 block of Ficus Drive in Newhall regarding a trespassing call.
“Deputies located a male … and a female, Jennifer Cononico, inside the apartment,” said Lt. Ignacio Somoano of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“The resident reported he advised (the suspects) that property belonging to her from many years ago could be collected from the garage of his apartment. The victim did not give anyone permission to enter his locked apartment,” Somoano added.
Responding deputies reportedly found signs of damage to the door lock from the garage leading into the apartment, and Cononico and the male inside the apartment.
“Both suspects were arrested for burglary,” Somoano said.
Cononico previously had been convicted of theft. In 2016, she pleaded no contest to larceny and theft, and over the course of the last three years has been arrested on other charges including possession of controlled substances and possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Cononico is the sole administrator for the Facebook group “SCV Buy/Sell/Trade,” a group that allows people to post what goods or items they want to part with, often posting their address or a nearby location to their home.
As of Friday afternoon, the group had 21,945 members with 6,679 posts in the last 30 days.
Somoano said that station detectives were not aware whether the group was being used to facilitate anything Cononico is being accused of, and that people should still exercise caution when posting online.
“It’s uncommon for crooks to open up accounts to sell their stolen stuff,” said Somoano. “If she created it to help herself or others in her inner circle sell things, that’s another possibility, compared to using that to gather information on other people.”
Detectives, according to Somoano, have used groups and pages like the SCV Buy/Sell/Trade page to track stolen goods in the past.
SCV Sheriff’s Station officials have reminded residents in the past to use the station’s parking lot for buying, selling or trading items with strangers.
The designated Safe Exchange Zone is located in the station’s parking lot, directly opposite of the entrance to the station. The area is also under 24/7 video surveillance.
“The goal of the designated parking spots is to provide residents a safe, secure environment, and also reduce the number of fraudulent transactions taking place, as well as act as a level of protection against theft and other crimes,” said a previous sheriff’s station press release.
Cononico was held in lieu of $50,000 bail and was released Tuesday, according to SCV Sheriff’s Station arrest logs.
Cononico was unavailable for comment as of the publication of this story.