Teens who allegedly partied at, then looted, mansion due in court

Fourteen teens accused of throwing a clandestine party at an unoccupied La Habra Heights mansion -- and then looting it of everything from collectible medieval armor to a mounted snow leopard -- are due in court Wedesday to face trespassing and burglary charges.

The 9,000-square-foot home sustained more than than $1 million in losses and damage in the November incident, authorities said. Among the looted items were collectible medieval armor, scuba gear, designer suits and the snow leopard, valued at $250,000.
Some of the suspects essentially identified themselves by posting "selfies" with their loot to social media accounts to brag about their haul, officials said.

The teens threw the party while the owner of the hillside mansion was out of town, and spread the word on social media sites, authorities said. More than 100 teens were estimated to have attended.


The teens who attended the party were charged a fee to get in and, as the night wore on, a window to the home was pried open, a 16-foot window overlooking the pool grotto was smashed and some guests went into what authorities described as a "looting frenzy."

As the home was being picked over, one of the few remaining possessions was the snow leopard, stuffed and serene. The youth suspected of snagging the leopard told detectives he grabbed it simply because "all the good stuff was gone," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Arthur Scott told The Times.

Told that it was worth more than $250,000, the teen asked, "How many zeros is that?" Scott said.

The teen suspected of making off with the designer suits, which were much too large for him, would have drowned in the mass of fabric had he tried to wear them, authorities said, adding that suspects appeared to be "kids of means."

In the aftermath, detectives arrested 16 teens. Only 14 were charged. The 12 males and two females range  in age from 15 to 18, although none were adults at the time of the incident, officials said.

Each faces one count of misdemeanor trespassing, and nine are charged with one count of felony burglary. The burglary charges could lead to six-year prison sentences.

Other charges filed against some of the teens include grand theft, receiving stolen property and petty theft.

All of the teens, according to investigators, are from the La Habra-Whittier area and surrounding communities.

The 14 are scheduled to appear at a hearing Wednesday in Pomona Juvenile Court.

[For the Record 8:13 a.m. PDT March 19: An earlier version of this post reported that the mansion has 90,000 square feet of space. It has 9,000 square feet.]