Police continued to crack down on blight last week by arresting two juveniles suspected of stealing items related to graffiti and defacing an abandoned building.
The Los Banos Police Department, which recently started focusing more heavily on curbing vandalism, has arrested seven people, mostly juveniles, for similar offenses in the past month.
On March 4, officers responded to the 1300 block of West Pacheco Boulevard at 3:19 p.m. after receiving a report of a vandalism in progress.
Officer Greg Fillebrown discovered fresh graffiti on the former Lowe’s building at 1301 West Pacheco Blvd. and detained two juvenile males, 15 and 16, who were found nearby.
Police said the teens were on probation and as officers conducted a compliance search spray paint, permanent marking pens and other miscellaneous items where found in their possession.
Police allege the teens told them they stole the items from two local businesses. The boys were arrested on suspicion of burglary and vandalism and booked into the Iris Garrett Juvenile Justice Correctional Complex.
“This case could result in both criminal and administrative penalties for the suspects and their parents. We want to get the word out that defacement of property will not be tolerated, “ Cmdr. Jason Hedden said. “Anyone witnessing criminal activity should immediately call 911 and report the activity from a safe distance.”
To leave an anonymous crime tip, call 209-827-7070 Ext. 288. Anyone with access to a computer and the Internet can also leave an anonymous tip at the Police Department’s web page at www.losbanos.org. At the bottom of the “Contact” page, click on the “report graffiti and other crime” link or visit the Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-855-725-2420, or at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org