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Police arrest 6 taggers in 2 incidents

Four youths were arrested late Tuesday night on graffiti charges for tagging two Union Pacific Railroad boxcars and two 17-year-olds were detained for tagging restrooms at Rahilly Park.

Sgt. Alan Ward of the Merced Police Department said railroad officials reported $20,000 damage to the box cars located in the 1600 block of West 16th Street, behind Auto Center Drive.

Anthony Roraback, 19, was arrested on charges of felony vandalism, conspiracy, resisting arrest and contributing to the delinquency of minors. He remained in Merced County Jail on Wednesday afternoon in lieu of $10,500 bail, according to a correctional official.

Ward said security officers for the auto dealerships reported suspicious persons in the rear of the business. When the officers arrived they saw four men tagging two boxcars on the Union Pacific railroad tracks behind the business.

The four suspects ran when officers approached, jumping a fence into another auto dealership on West 16th Street. Three of them, two boys, ages 15 and 16, and a third suspect, Roraback, were arrested after a short chase.

The last suspect, a 14-year-old boy, was found hiding along the bank of Bear Creek just behind a vacant business. Two bags containing numerous cans of spray paint, paint tips and other items were located next to the boxcars, Ward said.

The three teens were booked into Merced County Juvenile Hall on charges of felony vandalism, conspiracy, resisting arrest and curfew violation.

Ward said the 17-year-olds were arrested at 1:13 a.m. Tuesday in Rahilly Park in the 3400 block of Parsons Avenue. They ran from Officer Ronald Butler when he attempted to contact them in the park.

Butler located the boys several minutes later hiding in a residential neighborhood just adjacent to the park. They were arrested after confessing to tagging the bathrooms at the park with markers. Both boys were released to the custody of their parents after their arrest.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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