Graffiti taggers caught by residents
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
May 30, 2013 | 3016 views | 2 2 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Vandals tagged this fence next to a Patterson Irrigation District canal near American Eagle Parkway and Ward Avenue in late April. Police arrested two men Saturday, May 27 in connection with serial graffiti that has been occurring more than two months.--Photo byJonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrrigator
Vandals tagged this fence next to a Patterson Irrigation District canal near American Eagle Parkway and Ward Avenue in late April. Police arrested two men Saturday, May 27 in connection with serial graffiti that has been occurring more than two months.--Photo byJonathan Partridge/Patterson Irrrigator
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A palm tree across the street from Las Palmas School on the 600 block of West Las Palmas Avenue contained the word 'stag' Thursday, May 23.  Patterson Police arrested two men Saturday, May 27 in connection with serial graffiti that has been occurring more than two months.--courtesy photo
A palm tree across the street from Las Palmas School on the 600 block of West Las Palmas Avenue contained the word 'stag' Thursday, May 23. Patterson Police arrested two men Saturday, May 27 in connection with serial graffiti that has been occurring more than two months.--courtesy photo
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An example of graffiti at the skate park found Saturday, May 10. Patterson Police arrested two men Saturday, May 27 in connection with serial graffiti that has been occurring more than two months.--courtesy photo
An example of graffiti at the skate park found Saturday, May 10. Patterson Police arrested two men Saturday, May 27 in connection with serial graffiti that has been occurring more than two months.--courtesy photo
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Two Patterson men were arrested Saturday, May 25 and booked into Stanislaus County Jail in Modesto on suspicion of felony vandalism. The taggers have hit up the Patterson Skate Park, the community pool, palm trees across from Las Palmas School and Patterson Airport off of Sperry Avenue. — Photo by Marc Aceves/Patterson Irrigator
Two Patterson men were arrested Saturday, May 25 and booked into Stanislaus County Jail in Modesto on suspicion of felony vandalism. The taggers have hit up the Patterson Skate Park, the community pool, palm trees across from Las Palmas School and Patterson Airport off of Sperry Avenue. — Photo by Marc Aceves/Patterson Irrigator
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Two Patterson men were arrested Saturday evening, May 25 after being caught in the act of spraying graffiti near Ward Avenue and American Eagle Parkway by a former city councilwoman and a local resident. One of the men has admitted to tagging buildings for the last two months.

Patterson Police Detective Casey Hill said Tuesday, May 28 that Justin Allen Lavender, 21, of Patterson and Shawn Michael Gulick, 23, were apprehended shortly after 11:30 p.m. Saturday after former Councilwoman Annette Smith and Patterson resident Teri Davis spotted the two painting on a fence outside of the FDES Hall.

Davis said she and Smith saw the taggers in action.

“It was awesome. We parked about five houses away from them on M Street,” she said. “I got the description, and (Smith) called it in.”

The two were booked into Stanislaus County Jail in Modesto on suspicion of felony vandalism. Graffiti vandalism causing more than $400 worth of damage is considered a felony.

Hill, who was busy tallying up all of the damage since late April from the tagging Tuesday, said the men have caused more than $1,000 worth of damage. The taggers have hit up the Patterson Skate Park, the community pool, palm trees across from Las Palmas School and fences throughout the Heartland Ranch housing development in western Patterson.

“It’s definitely in the felony realm of vandalism,” he said.

The apprehension was part of an effort by community members that included Smith, Davis, Mayor Luis Molina and former council candidate Dennis McCord. The four started staking out common locations for the graffiti taggers Friday, May 24. After no success Friday, Smith and Davis again set out Saturday night to find the taggers.

“We didn’t invest in this community to have it look like the ghetto,” Smith said Tuesday, May 28. “The public can assist police by observing and reporting. (Police) can’t be everywhere and do everything.”

Molina said it was a well-coordinated effort, with Smith assembling the volunteers after talking with the mayor last week about doing something to stop the tagging.

“It’s one of those things that starts with a conversation,” Molina said. “There was a lot of concern over what these taggers were doing.”

Hill lauded Smith and Molina for coming together to take care of the problem.

“It’s great to see citizens come together to stop crime,” he said. “It was nice to see them come together to help the city.”

Davis — who describes herself as a “skater mom” — said the volunteers want the taggers to realize there are people who love Patterson.

“I moved to Patterson in 2009, and we were all pretty upset when they hit the skate park,” she said. “They’ll know not to mess with Patterson moms in the future.”

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

Comments
(2)
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jumpingjackflash
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May 30, 2013
LOL, it's about time. Patterson continues to get worse, becoming like Modesto. Now if they could patrol the dead-end roads to the river for all the drug selling that goes one down there. All week long, especially starting on Thursday evening with a steady flow of traffic in and out. Obviously not fishing when each car is only down there for about 10 minutes. But NOTHING ever gets done about it. Not to forget about the ones who think it’s there own private dump, for all their garbage.
pebblesc1
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May 30, 2013
Way to go Kudos kudos kudos to you, I moved to Patterson in 2004 and have never seen the tagging this bad, they have also tagged sun Glow Parkin Heartland Ranch a lot which is also becoming popular for beer/liquor bottles broken EVERYWHERE around the PARK, TRASH!,DOPE! NEEDLES! CONDOMS, and no one is Doing ANYthing about it, these poor parents and children who want to play there I feel for them, and not to mention dog feces people care not to pickup. The taggers "Sting" also left derogatory and vulgar remarks about the police on a cable box near American Eagle and Pipit. i want to participate in apprehending these taggers as well, lets not let them back in Patterson again way to go.


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