Teens turn Winnetka home into party house

February 26, 2009 5:48:09 PM PST
Several north suburban teenagers allegedly turned an unoccupied home in Winnetka into their own party house, causing more than $10,000 in damage.Police say the teens drank alcohol, smoked and partied for several days before it was discovered they were using the home.

Pabst Blue Ribbon and Milwaukee's Best beer cans all over the house, clothes dumped everywhere along with cigarette butts. Police say the trashed Winnetka home is the work of several uninvited high school students.

"It was nasty and smelled and it was just like a more than a three days old party," said Richard Broderick, home owner's attorney.

The house belongs to lawyer Richard Broderick's client, Muffin Braun. Her home was left unoccupied after she and her teenage daughter moved a few months ago. They were preparing to sell it although, several of the Bauns' personal items remained in the house.

Last week, Muffin Braun received a phone call that a party was going inside. She immediately called police and went to her house.

"She walked in and the kids started to scramble to get out of house," said Broderick.

The kids didn't get too far before police arrived and cited eight teenagers with underage drinking. Most of the kids are New Trier High School students. Broderick is disappointed the teens were not charged with more offenses.

"Trespassing, criminal damage to property, burglary, you know. There are a number of additional charges that they could have charged these kids with. Disorderly conduct possibly," said Broderick.

Winnetka's deputy chief of police says they could not charge the teens with vandalism or trespassing because there is no way of proving those particular kids were responsible for the whole mess since the party went on for days.

The Brauns believe the teenagers may have snuck in the house through a second floor balcony door. Meantime, five of the kids came back to help the Brauns clean up. But two teenage girls involved had their mothers do the dirty work.

"What is the message you are sending to your kids when they make a mess and you continue to clean up after them," said Broderick.

The teenagers are scheduled to appear in court in April.