John Terry’s £5m mansion burgled while while on family holiday – were raiders tipped off by Instagram photo?

“Instagram gang rob JT’s mansion” screams the front page of The Sun’s Saturday edition. It’s an exclusive, because that’s how crime should be reported on, with exclusives, and victim-blaming, and headlines to make the most out of others’ misery. The story has since been picked up by the Mirror and the Mail as well, both citing The Sun.

The story itself claims that Terry’s home was burgled last weekend, after thieves evaded security and stole valuables worth a “five-figure sum”. And while that doesn’t sound like much at all (Terry easily makes that much in a week), victims of burglary will often tell you that it’s the psychological damage that’s much more lasting than the material damage. The report claims the Terry family are “very shaken”.

Piling on further misery, The Sun then engage in a fine bit of victim-blaming, as they connect the burglary to Terry’s Instagram photos, which often show the inside of his home as document his travels, like the brief ski holiday earlier this week. Thus the whole “Instagram gang” moniker, who supposedly troll a celebrity’s profile and strike while they’re away.

While I’m sure stuff like that happens, The Sun’s own report says that the thieves struck “last Saturday”, which was actually the day of the Chelsea vs. Swansea City match, before the (possibly non-club-sanctioned) skiing adventure. In a way, maybe JT knowingly (or with permission) broke those rules because they needed a mental break after the break-in.

So, to sum up, thieves broke into JT’s home — probably, since you never do know what The Sun might or might not invent (there’s no comment from Surrey police in any of the reports so far) — but not because of his holiday pictures, but because he was simply at work.

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