Two young men, Julio Anthony Becerra, 21, and a minor, were arrested this week for graffiti vandalism as a result of heightened police awareness of the problem, according to a release from the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Police arrested the minor, whose name has not been released, on Wednesday night after being called to his house. He was described as out of control, disobedient, and a runaway, and it wasn’t until after officers arrived at his house that they learned of his graffiti work. He agreed to ride with the officers and show them the spots he had tagged.
Officers arrested Becerra Thursday near the area of Santa Barbara Stone, at 700 Lawrence Avenue. They were checking the area — as the business had been the target of past graffiti crimes — and caught Becerra spray-painting a wall. Later, when officers searched his house, they found cans of spray paint, permanent markers, and his personal moniker on nearly everything he owned.
The department said they were made aware of increasing graffiti crimes in the past two months and have been focusing more of their attention on the vandalism.