Five juveniles have been arrested in connection with a rash of vandalism in Watsonville last week in which suspects sprayed graffiti tags on storage containers and businesses and defaced school property, police said today. The first case was reported Nov. 24 when a citizen called police at about 5 p.m. after seeing suspects were tagging crew monikers on storage containers in the area of 314 Beach St., Sgt. Eric Montalbo said.
Patrol officers arrived and found two suspects still at the scene while two others had fled and were not located, according to Montalbo. One of the suspected taggers, a 15-year-old, was arrested on suspicion of a minor in possession of an aerosol can and vandalism and the other, also 15, was arrested on suspicion of vandalism, police said. Both juveniles were given citations to appear in court and released to their parents, Montalbo said.
Last Thursday at about 1 a.m., a person flagged down an officer in the area of Main and Beach streets to report seeing two people spray painting on a wall at 35 W. Beach St., he said. Officers who drove to the address located a pair of 17-year-old suspects who tried to run away a short distance but were captured, according to Montalbo.
The officers soon found at least 30 fresh graffiti tags on the walls of multiple businesses in the area and arrested the two juveniles on suspicion of felony vandalism, minor in possession of an aerosol can and resisting arrest and booked them into Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall, he said.
Last Thursday, at about 3 p.m., a police officer patrolling near Landmark Elementary School saw two minors, aged 13 and 14, near the school’s sign, which the 13-year-old was defacing with a felt tip pen and the 14-year-old vandalizing other school property, Montalbo said. The officer detained the 13-year-old and other officers called to the area where able to find the 14-year-old, who had attempted to flee, he said.
The 14-year-old was arrested on suspicion of vandalism, cited and released to his parents and the 13-year-old, who was not arrested, was also released to his parents, he said.
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