Every teenager dreams of the day when their parents leave to visit the grandparents over the weekend so they are free to host a party. Some succeed and have to suffer a mild scolding from the parental units in case some of their booze is missing or furniture was broken.
But what’s installed for the group of 16 teenagers who hosted a party in a vacant mansion that was up for sale in California, and ended up trashing it and looting artwork, Versace suits, electronics, and a stuffed Snow Leopard valued at $250,000, goes beyond imagination.
The La Habra Heights mansion is listed for sale and the owner was out of the party, when someone apparently noticed his absence and decided that ‘when the cat’s away… it’s time to host a massive party and charge for the tickets.
“They call it a ghost party or mansion party, where the suspects go online, look for properties that are high-end, for sale and appear to be abandoned,” Capt. Tim Murakami of the local sheriff’s station said. “It was pretty well trashed.”
More than 100 people attended the party that was supposed to be confined to the pool area, but at some point during the party somebody forced entry into the house, which caused somewhat of a piranha effect.
Partygoers ended up smashing and grabbing most anything they could get their adolescent hands on.
The teen who scurried off into the night with a mounted Snow Leopard under his arm told police he had grabbed it because “all the good stuff was gone. Little did he know that the rare pussy was worth a quarter of a million dollars.
Tracking down the looters turned out to be one the easiest police investigations many of the law officers ever worked. Thanks to so-called selfies, pictures taken of oneself with a camera phone, that the perpetrators posted online, most of the stolen items have been recovered.
Not only was the party publicized via social media, Murakami said, “They were actually bragging about the party (online), showing themselves within the residence, showing themselves carrying some of the stolen property.”
Damage to the property and loss of belongings is estimated to be more than US$1m and how it will be compensated is up to the courts to determine. Parents of the teens involved are said to be cooperating with the police, and one officer on the force said: “The parents were more than understanding. They were embarrassed.”