As several neighborhoods in Santa Rosa have begun to reemerge from the ashes of the 2017 Tubbs Fire, gangs of local teenagers have been scouting empty homes, publishing maps on Snapchat, and summoning all their friends to come be rowdy and trash the place.
It's with this story that SFist revives the tried and true deplorable teens tag, because just listen to this: Santa Rosa resident and Tubbs Fire victim Rosemary Yates left her recently rebuilt house in the Fountaingrove neighborhood on Friday evening, and within minutes a surveillance camera picked up two teen girls coming up some back steps and breaking into the home. Within a couple of hours, kids were posting Snapchat videos of the scene inside, which included dancing on tables, drinking Hennessy out of the bottle, and tossing furniture down stairs.
As Yates tells KRON 4, she was so pissed off about it, she decided to go to the media and warn people that this was happening in Santa Rosa. And Santa Rosa police confirm that, yes, this has been happening at vacant homes in the area for a while.
"It just went nuts," Yates says of the party. "They threw chairs, destroyed walls, floors, there’s holes in walls and then just the massive human biology. The vomit, the pee, the alcohol, the pot, all of that stuff was just sprayed all over."
Yates' son apparently spotted the party unfolding on Snapchat and managed to save the videos, which Yates has handed over to the police. The police say they are actively reviewing the footage.
Police are now looking for an indeterminate number of teen suspects responsible for the break-in and for causing thousands of dollars in damage to the home. It's not clear how long the party went on, or how long it took for Yates to discover the damage — KRON 4 does not make clear whether she is, in fact, fully moved back in, and the house appears to still be unfinished.
It appears the teens must be taking advantage of the fact that homes are mostly rebuilt but not fully occupied, and neighborhoods like Fountaingrove are still significantly under-populated — because otherwise wouldn't someone have called the cops due to the noise?
The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat just reported Friday that of the 1,600 homes that burned in Fountaingrove in the Tubbs Fire, many remain just vacant lots and many more are still under construction. A total of 600 parcels in Santa Rosa where homes were destroyed have shown no rebuilding activity at all. As one couple explains, their dream home has been delayed because builders are still scarce and construction estimates have come in way over budget.