Society

16 Teens Arrested For Party In Vacant Mansion, Stealing $250K Snow Leopard

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Sixteen teenagers were arrested Wednesday in connection with a wild party thrown in a vacant, fully-furnished mansion where guests walked off with Armani suits, scuba gear, medieval armor and a $250,000 mounted snow leopard.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said the damage done to the La Habra Heights mansion ranked as one of the world juvenile crimes he’d ever seen.

He says the damage to the home as well as the “frenzy of looting” amount to at least $1 million.

The party took place from Nov. 23 to Nov. 4, without any report from neighbors about something being amiss. The party organizers charged a fee to get in and at least 100 people attended. At some point a 16-foot window overlooking the mansion’s pool was broken and partygoers began looting.

"I don't think they knew what they were doing. I don't think they knew what they had," said L.A. County Sheriff's Lt. Arthur Scott.

Many of the suspects were easy to track down because they posted pictures of themselves with the stolen items on the Internet.

The teens who took the stuff leopard told police they grabbed it because “all the good stuff was gone,” Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

When the teen was told the leopard cost $250,000, he reportedly asked “How many zeros is that?”

The boy who stole the Armani suits couldn’t even fit in them.

"These were not items you could sell, they're so unique," Capt. Timothy Murakami said of the stolen good. "It's probably just another stuffed animal to them."

Many of the stolen items are still missing.

Thirteen of the suspects are juveniles, ranging from 15 to 17 years old. Three others were arrested, all of whom are 18 years old.

The homeowner, who had already put the house on the market, has not been named.

Murakami said this kind of pop-up party vandalism and theft is rare for La Habra Heights.

"This isn't just happening in La Habra Heights, it's happening all over the county," Baca said. "The question is how are we going to pay back the owner for the loss?"

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Newser