OCEANSIDE (CNS) - A 14-year-old North County boy was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of committing dozens of graffiti crimes that resulted in cumulative damages estimated at $16,000.
Members of a multi-agency investigative team took the youth into custody after serving a search warrant at his residence near Tri-City Hospital in Oceanside about 7:30 a.m., sheriff's Deputy John Boyce said.
The suspect, whose name and address were withheld because he is a minor, was expected to face at least 37 felony vandalism counts. He was released to his parents' custody pending his initial appearance in juvenile court, according to Boyce.
The teen is accused of defacing signs, sidewalks, electrical boxes, telephone poles and other roadside property in Oceanside and Vista, mostly in the latter city, Boyce said.
The graffiti, generally applied with an acrylic-paint pen, consisted of the name of a tagging "crew" to which the boy apparently belonged, the deputy said.
Sheriff's personnel and Oceanside police officers seized "numerous items of evidence relating to graffiti activity" at the suspect's home, according to Boyce.
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