Three accused of graffiti vandalism at Pasadena park

PASADENA >> Three men were behind bars Saturday for allegedly scrawling graffiti in and around Brenner Park in Pasadena, officials said.
Police arrested Allen Rafael Padilla, 19, of Pasadena, Daniel James Blancarte, 18, of Pasadena, and Anthony Medina-Olvera, 19, of Alhambra, on suspicion of felony vandalism after a city worker caught them tagging about 6:30 a.m. Friday at Brenner Park, at Barthe Drive and Mountain Street, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
“A city worker observed the suspects walking out of the women’s restroom at Brenner Park,” Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said. The worker soon discovered that the bathroom had been vandalized with fresh graffiti, along with eight other spots in and around the park.
Officer found and detained the three suspects in the area and arrested them after the witnesses identified them as the taggers, Luna said.
“The suspects were in possession of paint cans and paint markers matching the vandalism,” the lieutenant added.
The vandalism spree caused nearly $1,000 worth of damage, he said.
According to county booking records, Padilla and Blancarte were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending their initial court appearances. Medina-Olvera, who had a pre-existing case against him, was being held in lieu of $35,900 bail.

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Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Alhambra vandalized with graffiti

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ALHAMBRA >> Police are seeking whoever vandalized the Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Alhambra Wednesday, just ahead of Veterans Day.
Park workers discovered sloppy lettering scrawled across the Veteran Memorial Wall about 8:30 a.m., Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
The curved wall marred by the graffiti is inscribed with the Thomas Jefferson quote: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Bricks arranged in front of the wall bear the names of local service members who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
The painted message included two apparent monikers, along with the symbol of a local “tagging crew,” Johnson said.
“The fact that they would do it to a veterans’ memorial is appalling,” Johnson said. “There’s no question they knew exactly what they were doing.” Johnson served as a medic in the U.S. Army in the 1980s.
“Speaking as a veteran… I can see why it would really push some people’s buttons,” the sergeant said.
In addition to the graffiti on the memorial at the northwest corner of Alhambra Park, the workers also found similar markings elsewhere in the park, including on a nearby swimming pool facility, police said.
“They’re a group of teenage hooligans, if you will,” he said. “Many of them live in that general area.”
Investigators were working with school officials to identify the culprit or culprits, Johnson said.
“We’re hoping to get someone in custody soon,” he said.
Workers had cleared the graffiti from the memorial by Wednesday afternoon, Johnson said. “It looks like they were able to clean it off really well.”
A Facebook post from the Alhambra Police Department late Wednesday describing on the incident had received more than 200 “likes” and 150 comments by Thursday afternoon.
“That’s disgusting! And to think my son is in the military fighting for the freedom of these low lives!!” Stacey Calzada posted.
“This is a slap in the face to our veterans, and Alhambra won’t stand for it!” Joe Mojica posted. “I would like to see more patrols and more police presence around the park.”
The dollar-value estimate of the damage was still being calculated Thursday, but was expected to amount to nearly $1,000, Johnson said.

PHOTO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department

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Police: Teenage graffiti vandals caught red-handed in Azusa

AZUSA >> Police arrested two teenage boys on suspicion of scrawling graffiti along the street and at a park Thursday after the young vandals were literally caught red-handed, officials said.
A witness called police about 7:15 p.m. to report seeing the teens using spraypaint to vandalize walls and sidewalks in the 400 block of South Pasadena Avenue, Azusa police officials said in a written statement.
Officers responded and encountered two Azusa boys, ages 14 and 15.
“As the police officers approached the juveniles, they saw one of them was holding a spray paint can in his hand, and both juveniles had the same color paint on their hands,” according to the police statement.
“A search of the area led officers to find fresh ‘tagging-style’ graffiti in red paint on a block wall and sidewalk in the 400 block S. Pasadena Ave.,” the statement continued. “Similar graffiti was also found at Gladstone Park.”
The teens admitted to the vandalism. and both were arrested and released to their parents with a written promise to appear in court, police added.
Officials encouraged anyone who witnesses vandalism to call the police. The city seeks restitution from convicted graffiti vandals and their parents to recoup the cost of the damage.

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Rowland Heights man accused of four-month tagging spree

ROWLAND HEIGHTS – A 19-year-old Rowland Heights man pleaded no contest Tuesday to three counts of felony vandalism in connection with an alleged four-month graffiti spree, authorities said.
Deputies arrested Vicente Christoph Haro about 6:30 a.m. Friday after a tipster reported seeing him scrawling graffiti at Colima Road and Paso Real Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Christopher Blasnek said.
Haro was still at the scene when deputies arrived and discovered he had vandalized a bus bench, a wall and a utility box, the lieutenant said. And the marks he scrawled were familiar to officials, who had seen similar graffiti in the area over since December.
He’s accused of causing more than $2,500 worth of damage during his “bombing runs,” a slang term for scrawling graffiti on multiple spots at the same time, Blasnek said.
He appeared in court Tuesday, where prosecutors charged him with eight counts of felony vandalism, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
He pleaded no contest to three counts at his initial court appearance, she said. The remaining five counts of felony vandalism were expected to be dismissed at his sentencing, scheduled for Friday.

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Police: Prolific teenage graffiti vandal arrested in Azusa

AZUSA — Police arrested a 14-year-old probationer Friday for dozens of acts of graffiti vandalism, and plan to charge the boy’s mother for the $5,100 worth of damage he caused, police said.
Officers from the Azusa Police Department’s Gang Specialist Unit carried out a search about 8:25 a.m. at the boy’s home in the 500 block of East Gladstone Street, Azusa police Sgt. John Madaloni said in a written statement. They were following up on an investigation into whoever was responsible for the dozens of vandalism incidents over the past six months.
The officers found “an abundance of graffiti tools and graffiti samples consistent with the open investigation,” Madaloni said.
The teen was booked at the Azusa Police Department’s jail and subsequently identified and confessed to 51 individual acts of graffiti vandalism, the sergeant said.
He was taken to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey.
“In addition to the pending criminal charges, the vandal’s mother was also issued an administrative citation for the documented damages,” Madaloni said.

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Anti-LAPD graffiti found in El Monte believed to be the work of a ‘Dorner supporter’

EL MONTE — Officials found and removed a large graffiti message cursing the Los Angeles Police Department was believed to have been inspired by the recent manhunt for former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, authorities said.
The spray-painted graffiti was first reported about 10:30 a.m. on a wall surrounding a home in the 4800 block of Dyson Street, at Lower Azusa Road, El Monte police Cpl. Aram Choe said.
“The graffiti was approximately three feet tall, and it was critical of the Los Angeles Police Department,” the corporal said. He estimated the message was about 6 feet wide.
It read, “(expletive) LAPD,” officials said.
Investigators suspected the graffiti was scrawled by a “Dorner supporter” in response to the recent manhunt, and ultimate killing, of quadruple-murder suspect and ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, Choe said.
Dorner wrote in an online manifesto that he was engaging in a war against his former colleagues in law enforcement in retaliation for his termination from the LAPD in early 2009.
Before he was ultimately tracked to a cabin near Big Bear, where his body was found following a lengthy gun battle and massive fire, Dorner killed Cal State University Fullerton assistant basketball coach Monica Quan, 28, and her 27-year-old fiancee, Keith Lawrence, near their Irvine home, authorities said.
In the 10 days that followed, he went on to fatally shoot a Riverside police officer and a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy as law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California mobilized to hunt for Dorner, officials said. Another Riverside police officer and another San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy were seriously wounded by Dorner’s gunfire.

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Teens accused of graffiti vandalism in Azusa

AZUSA — Police arrested two teenagers Friday after a witness reported seeing them vandalizing a wall with graffiti along San Gabriel Avenue.
A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of vandalism, while a 16-year-old boy was suspected of delaying and obstructing a peace officer for failing to cooperate with officers’ orders, Azusa police Sgt. DeWayne Eldridge said.
Officers responded to the area of Northside Park about 4 p.m. after a witness called police to report the boys scrawling graffiti with spray paint on a brick wall in an alley to the west of the 1200 block of North San Gabriel Avenue, the sergeant said. An officer arrived within seconds and witnessed the vandalism.
A cash reward of $100 was paid to the tipster who reported the tagging crew-related vandalism, police said. Azusa police began a program early this year which offers $100 rewards to witnesses who report graffiti vandalism, leading to an arrest.
Additionally, Eldridge said, the city seeks restitution from convicted vandals or their parents to pay for the cost of repairing the damage.
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Three teens suspected in Azusa vandalism

AZUSA — Police arrested three teens late Saturday on suspicion of scrawling graffiti on a car.
A resident called police about 9:10 p.m. to report seeing to teens tagging on a parked car in the 400 block of West Crescent Drive, according to Azusa police Sgt. DeWayne Eldridge.
The juveniles had fled the area when police arrived, but officers detained them nearby, Eldridge said. They were ultimately arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism.
Under a new city program that began in January, the person who reported the graffiti was issued a $100 reward shortly after the arrest, police said.
“The program offers a $100 instant cash reward for anyone who reports a graffiti/tagging incident which leads to an arrest,” Eldridge said in a written statement.
In addition to taking a “zero-tolerance” stance toward graffiti vandalism in Azusa, the city seeks restitution from convicted vandals and their parents to pay for the damage.
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Azusa man suspected of graffiti vandalism

AZUSA — Police arrested a 22-year-old Azusa man early Friday on suspicion of graffiti vandalism after he was spotted writing with a marker on a utility box, police said.
Juan Arrona was released with a citation following his arrest shortly after midnight Friday in the 400 block of West First Street, Azusa police Sgt. John Madaloni said in a written statement.
A resident called police to report seeing the vandalism taking place, and officers spotted Arrona walking away from the area, the sergeant said.
“Arrona was also in possession of a black marker which matched the fresh graffiti located on the utility box,” Madaloni said. “Arrona later admitted to his crime, but identified it as ‘wall art’ rather than graffiti.”
The damage to the utility box was estimated at $200, police added.
Azusa police encourage anyone who sees graffiti vandalism in the city to report it, officials said, and the department launched a program in January that rewards tipsters with cash rewards.
The program, started Jan. 22, offers $100 instant rewards for those who report graffiti incidents that lead to an arrest, Madaloni explained.
For the safety of the tipsters, he added, police will not discuss whether rewards were paid in any specific cases.
Even before the award, Azusa residents have proven themselves willing to cooperate with police to stop graffiti vandalism, Madaloni said.
“We’ve seen time and time again evidence of community pride, and that people see their role in combatting crime,” he said.
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Azusa man suspected of possessing graffiti implements

AZUSA — A report of a fight early Saturday led police to arrest a local man on suspicion of possessing graffiti implements, officials said.
David Aguilar, 19, was booked at the Azusa Police Department’s jail and released with a misdemeanor citation, according to Azusa police officials and county booking records.
Officers responded to a call about 1 a.m. reporting a fight, possibly involving a gun, in the 600 block of East Matchwood Street, Azusa police Sgt. John Madaloni said.
Police made contact with two men, the sergeant said. One of them — later identified as Aguilar — “was seen by an officer attempting to conceal an open container of beer and discarding a silver object nearby,” Madaloni said.
“The silver object turned out to be a stack of adhesive stickers, commonly referred to as ‘slap tag,” the sergeant said. “Slap tags are stickers with pre-written graffiti or symbols that tagger/graffiti vandals apply to property instead of directly defacing the surface of the property.”
Additional slap tags were found in Aguilar’s pockets and wallet, however no gun was discovered, police said.
Azusa police take a “zero-tolerance” approach toward graffiti and vandalism, Madaloni added, and the city also seeks restitution from convicted graffiti vandals or their parents to pay for damage caused by graffiti vandalism.
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