HOUSTON – A group of teenagers are in trouble after they allegedly broke into a new house, threw a party and trashed it, police said. The damages are staggering, and investigators said the stunt may have been inspired by a new movie.
The home was severely vandalized last Thursday. It appeared as if it were hit by a tornado. Nearly every window in the two-story home had been broken. The sheet-rock had been ripped out and was scattered across all the floors.
“Well, it’s devastating. This is a new home that’s ready to sell, you know. It is a half-million-dollar home,” said Mark Stephens, a private investigator who works for the builder.
He said damage to the 4,000-square-foot home happened after teenagers broke into the home and threw a huge party.
“There were liquor bottles, beer bottles. I mean it was a big party,” Stephens said.
Stephens said the day after the party, he decided to see if the teenagers would return and do it again.
“So I came back out here to catch them and that’s what we did. They had already broke into another house, just down the street, and they were already throwing another party,” Stephens said.
Stephens called the police, and together they caught 13 teenagers. Two of them were juveniles and were released to their parents. The others were charged with criminal trespassing and were taken to jail.
“I asked some of the kids why, and they said 'Project X.' And I said, 'OK what’s 'Project X?''” Stephens said.
"Project X" is a new movie just released this month. Stephens said it clearly promotes drugs, alcohol, and vandalism.
“When you look at the movie, and you look at what happened here, the parallels are uncanny. It was a copycat. They did everything that I saw in the movie,” said Stephens.
Stephens is convinced that some, if not all, of the suspects caught inside the second home are responsible for the damage in the first house.
“We’ve got evidence that can tie the suspects back to the first house,” Stephens said.
And once that evidence is processed, those young adults could face more serious criminal charges. That's because the builder of the new home said it is costing between $80,000 to $100,000 to make all the repairs.
There is a reward being offered to anyone with information on this case. Anonymous tips are welcomed at Crime Stoppers -- call 713-222-TIPS.
You can also call private investigator Mark Stephens at 281-351-5342 or 1-877-204-5583.