Two boys, ages 14 and 15, were arrested Friday night on graffiti charges in the 1900 block of West Olive Avenue, just moments after they tagged the side of the Bianchi & Sons Packing Co. building.
Lt. Roger McIntyre of the Merced Police Department said Officer Jeffery Gonzales noticed four individuals standing near Olive Avenue and Loughborough Drive about 9:45 p.m. and smelled fresh paint in the air at the packing company office.
Two of the four youths fled from Gonzales when he returned to the intersection. One of the boys detained had red, black and gold spray paint on his hands and the other had black and white spray paint on both hands, McIntyre said.
Gonzales reported one of the boys had several cans of spray paint, all of which matched the paint on their hands and the graffiti painted on the Bianchi and Sons building.
While interviewing the suspects, both juveniles confessed to the vandalism. Both said that they had painted two of the buildings on the Bianchi & Sons property. One of the juveniles said that this was his first time painting graffiti, but the other stated that he had been doing this type of activity for several months and had vandalized several other locations.
The juveniles were taken back to the crime scene and showed Gonzales the locations of their art and the monikers that they used while committing their crimes. Also located were six cans of spray paint. Both suspects admitted the paint cans belonged to them.
Gonzales discovered there was approximately 900 feet of outside wall space that had been vandalized by the four suspects. There was extensive damage to the buildings, but the cost for repairs is unknown.
Both juveniles were charged with felony vandalism and the case will be forwarded to the Juvenile Probation Department for prosecution. The juveniles were later released to their parents.
Detectives are continuing to seek the other two boys and are asking anyone with information about this incident to call the department's tip line at 385-4725, or Sgt. Scott Skinner at 385-4702.
Reporter Doane Yawger
can be reached at 209 385-2485 or firstname.lastname@example.org.