Monday, October 15 , 2018, 8:02 pm | Fair 65º


Santa Barbara Police Make 2 Arrests in Graffiti Vandalism

A juvenile and adult man face charges in tagging sprees

The Santa Barbara Police Department has arrested two suspects as part of an investigation into an increase in graffiti vandalism during the past two months.

Officers went to a residence in the 400 block of South Salinas Street about 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 23 on a call of an out-of-control juvenile being detained by family, according to department spokesman Lt. Paul McCaffrey. Relatives told police of a continuing problem of the boy being a runaway and disobeying rules.

Police also learned that the juvenile kept graffiti materials in his room, and the boy told of late-night tagging sprees, McCaffrey said.

The juvenile drove with officers around the lower Eastside, and he identified locations — including lower Milpas Street businesses, the highway and on Lawrence Avenue — where he had committed graffiti vandalism using a variety of tagging monikers, according to McCaffrey.

The boy’s photo and name are withheld because he is a minor.

Julio Anthony Becerra
Julio Anthony Becerra

About 4 a.m. Thursday, June 24, officers checking on a business on Lawrence Aveneue that had been the target of graffiti vandals saw a suspect in the act of spray-painting graffiti. The suspect was spooked and tried to run but was detained.

The suspect’s hands were covered with black paint that matched the graffiti, McCaffrey said.

Julio Anthony Becerra, 21, was arrested on a felony count of graffiti vandalism.

Later Thursday, detectives served a search warrant at Becerra’s residence in the 100 block of West Haley Street. They recovered evidence including spray cans and permanent markers, and personal belongings marked up with his personal moniker.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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