Nearly 200 kids throw illegal house party at $8 million mansion, sheriff’s office says

A South Walton Beach home was burglarized and made host to an illegal open-house party thrown while owners out of town. (Source: WJHG)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 8:07 PM EDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/Gray News) - The owners of a home in Florida with an estimated value of $8 million are picking up the pieces after an illegal house party was held there.

Deputies with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office were called to the Watercolor home regarding a loud house party.

When they arrived at the home, they found about 200 kids inside for an illegal open-house party, according to sheriff’s office spokesperson Corey Debridnia.

The owners didn’t know it was taking place because they were out of town.

“An open house party is illegal; it’s already against the law, but breaking into a house to have an open house party is burglary,” Dobridnia said. “There is a chance that some of the kids didn’t know that the house wasn’t being rented, etc., but the amount of destruction and the number of items stolen out of the house would lead me to believe that even if you did think you had permission to be there, you knew you were doing things that are against the law.”

Additionally, the house was also up for sale.

According to Zillow, the house is listed for almost $8 million. The house owners did not want to go on camera but told WJHG that apart from the damage and items stolen, it’s a complete violation of privacy that you can’t put a price on.

“It’s not even so much about the items at this point, about what was stolen, or what was destroyed, it’s about people going into your closet and trying on your clothes, and people being in your bathroom, in your bed, all of that,” Dobridnia said.

The year-round owners said they left town last week with plans to return in a few days. But Dobridnia said the party had been advertised on social media since early last week.

“This had been advertised for an entire week. So, that will be part of our process, is figuring out how they knew the house would be empty and where that information came from,” Dobridnia said.

The sheriff’s office has gathered information through flyers and videos posted on social media, such as Snapchat and Instagram.

“It’s not funny; it’s not fun, it’s not cool. For these kids’ parents, it will be a wake-up call. We’re not talking about an open party charge; we’re talking about a burglary charge,” Dobridnia said.

Dobridnia said they could see everything on social media, even if it’s private or deleted. She adds they can subpoena Snapchat if it comes to it.

“We just need to give some peace back to the family and figure out what happened and where this information came from. I would encourage the kids who were there to come forward now,” Dobridnia said.

The owners of the house said they are moving forward with pressing every civil and criminal charge possible against everyone involved in the burglary of their home.

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