An illegal house party held at home in Florida over the weekend reportedly caused damage to an $8m home and the young people responsible for it appear to have provided authorities with the evidence they need to catch them: the teens’ own social media posts.
Early in the morning on Saturday, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office was called to a home near Seaside, on Florida’s northwest coast, after a noise complaint had been called in at the address of the multi-million-dollar home.
“When deputies arrived, as you can imagine, most of the people at the party had left the scene,” the police department wrote in a Facebook post on Monday, making them unable to arrest most of the hundreds of people who had illegally broken into the home and thrown a party.
The owners of the property were not at home, nor did they sanction the party, the police said, according to WKRG.
“An open house party is against the law. An open house party in a home you break into is a burglary,” the department wrote.
Since the weekend, however, authorities have collected wild footage from the open house party, most of which had been “circulating on Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media platforms”.
In some of the more brazen footage, young people can be seen converting the entrance of the luxury home into a makeshift boxing ring – boxing gloves and all – while in some of the up-close images shared by the force, young people can be seen showing off what appears to be a championship ring in selfies from inside the Florida home.
Police did not mince their words when warning the young people who attended Friday night’s late-night party that not only was their RSVP considered illegal, but that the evidence they produced that night, promptly shared on social media, was not private.
“Snapchat isn’t private. You may think it is if you are a teenager or someone in their early 20s and you are not yet worldly. Your friends will snitch. Word gets out,” the department wrote, adding with a quip that: “You’ll be tagged in pics on the Gram. Also, we can subpoena Snapchat.”
The authorities noted that, outside of the damage done to the homeowner’s belongings and property, the people affected by Friday night’s party have been left feeling with a sense of “complete violation”.
“The feeling when you know someone went into your closet, tried on your clothes, and used your bathroom doesn’t have a dollar amount attached to it,” WSCO said.
WSCO is asking the public for their assistance in identifying the people in the videos and images they posted on their own social media channels and asks that anyone with information to contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office or send an anonymous tip to the Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers.