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$8 million beach house burglarized, illegal open-house party thrown while owners out of town

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 3:14 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In the quiet, but touristy area of South Walton, some might never expect illegal activity to happen.

“Late Friday night, early Saturday morning, deputies were called out to Blackwater Street in Watercolor in reference to a loud house party. When they got there, there were about 200 kids,” Walton County Sheriff’s Office PIO Corey Dobridnia said.

An illegal open-house party the owners didn’t know was happening, 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,” said Dobridnia. “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 amount 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 is against the law.”

To make matters worse, the house was also up for sale.

According to Zillow, this house is listed for almost $8 million dollars. The owners of the house did not want to go on camera but tell NewsChannel 7 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,” said Dobridnia.

The year-round owners tell us they left town last Wednesday with plans to return Sunday. But Dobridnia said the party had been advertised on social media since last Monday.

“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,” said Dobridnia.

Information the sheriff’s office has gathered 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’s going to be a wake-up call. We’re not talking about an open party charge, we’re talking about a burglary charge,” said Dobridnia.

Dobridnia said they can see everything on social media, even if you think 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,” said Dobridnia.

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

Copyright 2022 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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