VISTA, Calif. — Two teenage Vista boys were arrested Thursday on suspicion of committing hundreds of graffiti crimes that wreaked nearly $275,000 worth of combined damages in the inland North County city since last spring.
Sheriff’s personnel detained one of the youths, 17, at his home Thursday morning, and took the other, a 15-year-old, into custody at his school in the early afternoon, Deputy Kevin Johnston said.
The older boy allegedly has committed about 365 tagging crimes, and the younger is suspected in 268 incidents, according to Johnston.
Cleanup costs for the vandalism sprees, which happened during the past seven months, are estimated at about $158,000 and $116,000, respectively.
The 17-year-old was placed in custody of his mother, while the other suspect was booked into juvenile hall due to his prior arrest history on similar charges, Johnston said.
Their names were withheld because they are minors.
All the defaced property in the two cases — including walls, windows, sidewalks, road signs, bus benches and electrical boxes — is city-owned. The perpetrators used paint, permanent pens and glass-etching chemicals to commit the offenses, and left behind distinctive tagger monikers, similar to signatures, Johnston said.