Found evidence leads to arrest for graffiti
A 19-year-old man was arrested around 6:30 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of committing numerous acts of graffiti in the Livingston area, according to the Merced County Sheriff's Department.
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Deputy Lucas Hukill conducted a probation compliance check on Roberto Rojas as part of a graffiti investigation into a 2008 incident, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.
Hukill searched Rojas' room and found markers, paint, stickers and other items commonly associated with graffiti. He also found evidence that links Rojas as part of the group that allegedly vandalized a potato field two years ago, MacKenzie said.
Deputies said members of graffiti gangs had been spray painting monikers and slogans all over the Livingston area on farm equipment and sheds. On Sept. 14, 2008 one of the graffiti crew members started up a tractor and drove it trough a field of potato seedlings, doing more than $50,000 damage in the 4000 block of Lincoln Avenue in Livingston, MacKenzie said.
Investigators believe the group Rojas belongs to is still actively tagging areas of Livingston, Merced and other county areas.
Rojas was booked into the Merced County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $75,000 bail.
-- Sun-Star staff