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Teens arrested for hundreds of tags

Posted: April 26, 2012 5:04 p.m.
Updated: April 26, 2012 5:04 p.m.

Two teenagers recently arrested for vandalizing private and public property in the Santa Clarita Valley, causing thousands of dollars in damage, are likely to face felony charges, a sheriff's official said Thursday.

The two teenage boys - a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old - were walking near the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library around 10:45 p.m. April 16 when deputies stopped to talk to them about curfew, said Detective Jeff Burrow of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Department's COBRA team.

Deputies found that both Canyon Country teens had paint on their hands, Burrow said. The teens eventually told them they had been out "tagging" that night, the detective said.

The two teens admitted to more than $25,000 worth of damage, Burrow said.

"They are part of a tagging crew," Burrow said, adding that he didn't want to give the name of of the group of vandals for fear of giving them more notoriety.

The teens together have spray-painted a "couple of hundred" tags that have been documented since November 2011, Burrow said, tagging walls, sidewalks, bus stop canopies, private businesses, and stop signs in the Canyon Country area.

The youth's names were not released because they are minors.

The amount of graffiti marring buildings, walls and other locations throughout Santa Clarita has increased 10 percent during the first quarter of 2012, city officials said Monday.

Although the teens' case hasn't been presented to the juvenile courts yet, Burrow said they will most likely face felony charges, along with court-ordered restitution.

Vandalism is considered a felony when it causes more than $400 damage, according to California's Penal Code.

Penalties include up to a year in county jail, up to $50,000 in restitution for damage totaling $10,000 or more, or both jail time and restitution.





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