Santa Paula Times

Santa Paula Police Department K9 Rex sits next to the spray paint that was used in a large graffiti incident inside the packing house located just east of the Santa Paula Depot. Photo by Don Johnson

Taggers arrested

July 14, 2006
Santa Paula Police Department
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesTaggers inside a vacant packinghouse ran from law enforcement officers and right into the arms of a Santa Paula policeman who had also responded to a Tuesday afternoon report of suspected trespassers.In a separate incident, two juveniles were detained Tuesday evening for tagging South Alley.The three adult males - residents of Oxnard, Palmdale and Van Nuys - were arrested on a variety of charges including felony vandalism and conspiracy for the packinghouse graffiti according to a SPPD spokesman.The incident occurred June 11 at about 12:49 p.m. according to SPPD Sr. Officer Ken Clark when SPPD Officers responded to a call that trespassers were suspected to be inside The Lemon Packing House, 215 N. 11th St.“Upon arrival at the location Officers met with the reporting party who advised them that he observed two males inside the building,” noted Sr. Officer Clark.A search of the building utilizing K-9 Rex led officers to the basement area of the structure where they encountered three suspects who fled on foot.The suspects ran up a stairwell but were detained by a SPPD Officer who had remained on the building’s first floor.All of the suspects had paint on their hands and “over 40 paint cans were located where the subjects ran from...on the wall was fresh paint matching the paint color from the cans” and the suspects’ hands.A strong paint odor was in the air and several basement walls were covered with “large amounts of tagging graffiti...”
Sr. Officer Clark said that the graffiti did not appear to be gang-related, “More just general graffiti...and when Officers were searching one of the subjects they located a receipt form WalMart for the purchase of spray paint.”Arrested for felony vandalism, burglary and conspiracy were Francisco Carrazco, 19 of Van Nuys, 21-year-old Carlos Covarrubias of Palmdale and Noe Pozos, 20 of Oxnard.“When people come from out of town I don’t know how they find these places,” that are vulnerable to break-in and vandalism noted Sr. Officer Clark. “A gentleman who was keeping an eye on the place peeked in the window and observed the subjects” and notified police, who had already been double-checking the building - which used to house lemon packing facilities for the Sunkist brand - at night.Tuesday evening two owners of an area business notified the SPPD that two juveniles - one wearing a rubber glove - were walking west in South Alley and tagging buildings along the way.Officers arrived on scene, found evidence of tagging including spray paint and detained the male and female juveniles.“The SPPD would like to remind citizens to continue to call in suspicious activity and we’ll get more arrests like these,” said Sr. Officer Clark.Bail for Carrazco, Covarrubias and Pozos was set at $20,000 each.