Crime

3 Los Banos students facing possible charges for ‘Trump’ graffiti

Graffiti discovered Thursday at Los Banos High School included the name of presidential candidate Donald Trump. School officials say a camera recorded two vandals wearing masks.
Graffiti discovered Thursday at Los Banos High School included the name of presidential candidate Donald Trump. School officials say a camera recorded two vandals wearing masks. KFSN-ABC30

Three Los Banos High School students are expected to face multiple charges for tagging the school with pro-Donald Trump graffiti on Cinco de Mayo, police said.

Cristina M. Vance, 18, and two 17-year-old males could be charged by the Merced County District Attorney’s Office next week with conspiracy to commit a crime, vandalism and trespassing, Los Banos Police Cmdr. Ray Reyna said Thursday morning in an interview with the Enterprise.

None of the suspects have been arrested or booked into jail, but police confirmed they are requesting criminal charges against all three.

Vance also could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

“We have made contact with all three suspects,” Reyna said. “They are cooperating with the investigation.”

School resource officer Anthony Parker handled the investigation.

Reyna said that, based on information and evidence collected, including surveillance footage, police believe the three students conspired in the early morning hours of May 5 to vandalize the school.

Messages citing the presidential candidate’s name along with some of his supporters’ slogans including “Build a Wall” and “Make America Great Again” were found written in chalk and paint across parts of the campus early Thursday.

The pro-Trump graffiti was found on May 5 – Cinco de Mayo.

Reyna said Thursday that police don’t have evidence to believe the vandalism was motivated by race or nationality.

The school spent more than $1,000 in repairs, manpower and a special chemical solution to clean up the paint without damaging surfaces, Reyna said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the school resource officer, Anthony Parker, at 209-827-7070. To leave an anonymous tip, call 209-827-7070, ext. 288. Anonymous tips can be sent to the Los Banos Police Department at www.losbanos.org, or contact Merced Area Crime Stoppers at 855-725-2420 or www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org.

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