Cops Bust Underage Beer Pong Party Mistaken For Burglary
Friends got caught trying to throw a party at a vacationing family's empty house, which police say has become a common problem this summer
Mahwah police and Bergen County Police K-9 units responded to a Ramapo Valley Road home Wednesday night after a few underage friends setting up for a beer pong party were mistaken for burglars, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said Thursday morning.
A woman dog-sitting for a family on vacation called 911 at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to report four males breaking into the family’s home, he said. It wasn’t until after the police response that the underage males were identified as friends of the family who knew they would be away on vacation, police said.
“Apparently earlier in the day the son had received text messages from some of his friends inquiring if anyone was home and when they were returning from vacation,” Batelli said. “After realizing the home would be vacant, apparently his friends planned to host a party at the house.”
Though the teens ran from the scene when police arrived, they were later identified based on discussions with the vacationing family, Batelli said. The four, and their parents, were interviewed about the incident by Mahwah Police.
Batelli called the incident “relatively minor,” but one that is not uncommon in the township.
“The major concern is the concept of house parties involving alcohol that are organized to be held at vacant houses where the owners may be on vacation,” he said. “This has occurred on a number of occasions this past summer.”
Police suggested homeowners ask friends, relatives and neighbors to watch their houses while away and to report any suspicious activity.