Alex Solis Echevarria, 21, of Oxnard, was arrested Friday on a $100,000 warrant for felony vandalism stemming from multiple incidents that occurred in Santa Barbara in 2011 and 2012. Echevarria was a prolific graffiti vandal.
Santa Barbara Police Department patrol officers and crime scene investigators routinely investigate and photograph incidents of graffiti vandalism that occur throughout the city, enabling detectives from the Youth Services Section to follow up and build cases against taggers.
By July 2012, Youth Services Section Detectives Ben Ahrens and Gary Siegel had linked Echevarria to over 40 incidents of graffiti vandalism that occurred in 2011 and 2012, resulting in over $50,000 worth of property damage. The incidents happened at various locations in the city, but predominantly on the Westside.
The case against Echevarria was forwarded to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office for the filing of a felony complaint; however , Echevarria fled the state and avoided prosecution. In August 2012, a $100,000 felony arrest warrant was issued for Echevarria.
Detective Ahrens continued to search for Echevarria and recently learned that he had returned to California. At 3:30 p.m. Friday, Detective Ahrens and Sgt. Lorenzo Duarte located Echevarria working at a restaurant on the 3800 block of State Street and arrested him.
Echevarria was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on the aforementioned warrant.
Either this week, police arrested Eduardo Robert Aguilar, 19, of Santa Barbara, believed to be connected to more than 30 documented cases of graffiti vandalism in the city since July 2013.
— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.