Facebook Picture of $5,000 Leads to Fenton Township Robbery, Shooting

Randy Johnson said his son was shot twice Saturday night by men who broke into his home on Linden Road.

Three men broke into a Fenton Township home seeking $5,000 that was posted in a picture on Facebook.

The Fenton Township family is shocked after three men entered the home on the 13000 block of Linden Road Saturday and shot resident Robert Johnson in the back and leg after demanding the money and tearing apart boxes looking for it.

Randy Johnson said his son Robert Johnson, 23, was alone in the home around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night when men broke in through the back door and demanded money. Randy Johnson said several shots were fired, including two that struck his son in the back and his leg and three shots that struck his dog.

Both are back home recovering after receiving treatment.

Randy Johnson said his son posted a picture of $5,000 in a box on Facebook and the men asked him where the money was. They then started fighting over it themselves. Robert Johnson fled the home and went to a neighbor for help.

Randy said the men ripped down the back gate and came in through the back door of the home, before ransacking the house and taking the $5,000.

“They woke him up and hit him in the head with a gun,” Johnson said. “They asked him for the money and shot him twice. There were shells everywhere.”

Blood was still visible from the home’s front door Sunday morning and there were bullet holes in the back gate as well as the back door. Randy Johnson said there was still blood in the house as well. He said Genesee County police officers were at the house from around 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. He said he stayed at a neighbor’s home, but was unable to get any sleep.

Randy Johnson said he doesn’t know why his son posted the picture of the money on Facebook and advised him to take it down. He didn't say whether his son knew the men.

“He’s very mad,” Randy said of his son.

Randy, his wife, and their son Robert have lived in the home for about a year after moving from Flint. Randy said he never expected anything like this incident to happen in the Fenton Township area.

"They are all good people around here," Randy Johnson said.

Linden Police responded to the shooting, which was near the city limits, and confirmed the incident, but deferred all questions to the Genesee County Sheriff's Department. An officer with the Genesee County Sherriff's Department declined to comment Sunday afternoon.

Jane Webber April 15, 2012 at 05:03 PM
How foolish.... and then they are going to blame the bad guys.... agreed it is the bad guys fault for taking the money but that's why they call them "bad guys"... but baiting folks is asinine.... certainly hoped someone learned a lesson about what trouble bragging can get you into.... hope they catch them
Robert Marr April 15, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Way to dig into the story, Jason.
C.C. April 15, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Love the local coverage and facts that Patch and Jason got out to the community quickly. No doubt that his was a terrifying event, however the 23 yr old man was foolish to post a picture of $5000 on his Facebook page and put not only himself, but his family in jeopardy. As the old adage goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted." This family is lucky the only thing lost was money, this could have been a much more tragic situation.
Shawn Stevens April 15, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Wow. That's crazy!!! Nobody has an excuse to be a thief..... but yes some things are best not posted on Face Book. People underestimate the power of Face book. I was even surprised when talking to my son on FB shortly after buying my new I-Phone. He said to me, "I see you got a new I-Phone." and I had to ask how he knew.... FB of course. When I downloaded the mobile app it put it all over Face Book. Be careful people what you post! I am glad it didn't turn out worse for the family involved.
R.E. April 15, 2012 at 07:30 PM
There's more to it than this, trust me.
Nate April 15, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Thanks for reporting on this. I've been living in the area since 1990 and have seen many crimes not get reported in the Police&Fire, Hot Lines, and so forth because of the "it doesn't happen in my town" attitude a lot of us have. Flint has already overrun Holly and now Fenton/Linden are next. It's really sad seeing this happening.
Vera Hogan April 15, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Not saying that posting that picture on Facebook wasn't a foolish thing to do, but how did the thieves get the address? My address is not on Facebook. Hmmmm ...
Robert Marr April 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Hey, Vera. It was mentioned in the article that the family had r recently moved from flint. one could speculate that at least one of the shooters was a FB friend of the victim, buy I wouldn't step out on that limb.
Ashleigh Noel April 15, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Maybe Fenton's new slogan should be "Flint. It's closer than you think."
dee April 16, 2012 at 02:14 AM
he thought he was cool and tough when he posted the pictures on facebook but your not the tough guy when theres a gun involved . hope they catch who did it but this should be a rude awakening to him.
Shawn Stevens April 16, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I am sure there is more than meets the eye, R.E.! Keep digging....
Shawn Stevens April 16, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Vera, they would get my phone and address easy because I am a business.....I don't hide it.... not sure on the story .....weather it was known friend or who knows? I still wonder why the boy would show a picture of 5,000 dollars on face book....
stephanie pytlowanyj April 16, 2012 at 03:57 AM
Question, if his FB was set to private, only his "friends" when have seen his post of the money, correct?
Denise Lindsey April 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM
Flint isn't the only place where crime happens, its just more publicized there. As mentioned by a previous comment, many crimes go unreported in the other cities, ie, Holly, Fenton...
Josh Latimer April 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Jason, way to go. Me and my wife were wondering about the details after hearing about this. Nice job getting the story.
Fady Elias April 16, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Never heard of such accident in Fenton since we moved here... It is scary the things we hear about happening in results of social media these days, people need to be more cautious of what they put out there. Thank you Jason for such a great coverage for the accident!
Vera Hogan April 16, 2012 at 03:23 PM
That's even scarier - to think it was a friend breaking in.
Vera Hogan April 16, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Yes, showing that money was foolish no matter how you look at it.
R.E. April 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM
That's not the story. That's a proactive media strike by the family. Know your neighbors.
Nate April 16, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Other sources are saying it was 3 black males with masks. Probably someone the victim knew considering they would have to see his FB posts and know where he relocated. What about a vehicle description? Police aren't really saying much at all and I hope they get these guys soon.
Vera Hogan April 16, 2012 at 09:09 PM
There is something really really fishy about this story ... there has to be more and I suspect the victim may not be telling all.
James April 17, 2012 at 12:59 AM
First of all, I don't think posting a photo of money is an invitation for a robbery. Foolish? Maybe. But I think that most of us have posted pictures of valuable items that we're proud of; jewelry, guitars and musical instruments, motorcycles, etc. Set your photo albums so that they're viewable by friends only, and choose your friends wisely! There are a lot of crazy, desperate people!
Susan Woolum April 17, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Oh, I'm agreeing with you on this one. Much more to this crime!
R.E. April 18, 2012 at 02:45 AM
What's second? LOL
Robert Marr April 19, 2012 at 09:40 PM
That's right, Stephanie, until one of his "friends" "Shared" the photo. Then, all the share-guys friends could see it as well. In a matter of moments, the number of people who could see it could increase exponentially. Scary stuff...
Elissa April 20, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Literally right around the corner from my house! Very strange story, i don't remember hearing any gun shots! Thank you for covering this, no one else is talking about it!
On the Lake April 20, 2012 at 08:15 PM
The times they are a changing here in Fenton, Fady. Flint crime is seeping in our backyards.
Bev Fitzgerald April 21, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Agreed, it seems a lot of people in Fenton are quick to blame Flint every time something happens. At some point you have to accept all the crime isn't being imported from other cities!


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