LANTANA, Fla. (WPTV) -- It appears to be a real life case of mean girls.
Beach County Sheriff's deputies arrested Abigail Benitez, 17, and
Lousette Sena, 16, for ransacking and setting fire to the home of a
fellow Santaluces High School student, according to arrest affidavits.
"That's incredible. That's terrible," said Michael Keleher who witnessed the September 12th fire.
Benitez and Sena have been charged as adults and remain in the Palm Beach County Jail on $20,000 bond each.
Firefighters were called to the home located at 2550 Henrieta Ct. on September 12.
discovered all of the burners on the range in the kitchen area turned
on at their highest setting. A mattress in one of the bedrooms was also
ablaze and dressers in the bedroom were also thrown to the floor,
"It didn't have to go this far. Not only did
they burn their house up, but they broke their family up," said Stella
Penrod, a family friend.
Penrod said the damage goes beyond the
house. John Carrol, who owns the home, is currently in the Palm Beach
County Jail for an alleged DUI. His daughter is now without a father,
home and is terrified to go back to school.
"Not only did they
have the audacity to steal their electronics, then they had the audacity
to burn down their house to where it's not even livable, that's mean,"
A neighbor captured surveillance video of two
females walking down Henrietta Court the day of the fire, carrying a pink
suitcase that had been reported missing from the home.
The two daughters of the home's owner go to school with the teenage suspects.
Benitez was seen by another classmate wearing jewelry and in possession of other items that belonged to the victims.
Benitez also reportedly told a friend that she stole things and set fire to the Carroll residence.
The suspect told the friend that she sold the belongings for money, including a "bong," the arrest affidavit states.
a friend asked Benitez, "How could you set a girl's house on fire? What
were you thinking?" Benitez allegedly responded that she thought it was
funny and that the fire was being blamed on another student at
Santaluces High School, the friend told investigators. Benitez also
allegedly told the friend that she took a bunch of items from the
Carroll residence and put them in a pink suitcase.
The two are charged with grand theft, burglary and arson.
feel bad for the girls, but if you do the crime, you're going to have
to do the time. And it's a shame, they're young," said Penrod.
Palm Beach County School District said since the alleged incident did
not happen on school grounds, they will not investigate. If the two
girls do face punishment, that would remain confidential.