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Neighbor Critical of Calif. Police Response to Party

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. -- A Rancho Santa Fe woman says San Diego County Sheriff's deputies did not do enough when they broke up a big party across from her home last month.

Susan Pitt described the party that was thrown in a vacant $5 million house as "tons of people, like a mob scene up and down the street."

An estimated 400 teenagers were at the party, which was advertised on Twitter with a promise of five kegs of beer.

The house party was one of several thrown in vacant homes in recent months, according to the sheriff’s department, which received several calls about the one on Avenida Alondra.

Pitt told 10News she called to report the party twice and was told deputies were on their way. She said it took more than half an hour for several patrol cars and a helicopter to arrive.

Pitt said she was surprised when deputies began allowing the young people to go home, saying she was shocked that they put drunk teens into their cars and told them to drive carefully.

"And without the police taking names and phone numbers, and at least making phone calls and alerting the parents that their kids were involved in this illegal party, they're not going to stop," she said. "They were in the neighbor's yard. They were in my yard. As soon as they realized that the police weren't doing anything they just started popping out of bushes and just joining the crowds of people that were just walking up the street and going home."

Pitt added, "They got away with it. They know they got away with it and they'll go and do it again."

Pitt, a mother of three grown adults, said as a mother, she would have liked the deputies to have at least taken names and reported the teens to their parents.

"I would want a phone call, heck yes," she said.

She told 10News reporter Allison Ash that she approached one of the deputies and asked what they were doing about the teens and he told her deputies could not do anything.

"He said there were too many of them and they were just putting them in their cars and letting them go home," she said.

San Diego Sheriff's Lt. Kelly Martinez told 10News rounding up the teens who were hiding in the bushes could have been a safety issue for both the teens and deputies. The safest way to handle the group was to send them home.

Martinez said five or six teens were detained for being under the influence of alcohol. Those teens were later released to their parents.

As for the party organizer, investigators are continuing to follow leads in the hope of making an arrest. Possible charges include burglary, vandalism, violating the social host ordinance and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

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