Police Have Made Arrest In Three Cases
WATSONVILLE—The Watsonville Police Department has gotten a helping hand in the fight against graffiti thanks to some concerned citizens of Watsonville. In three recent cases police were able to make an arrest because people got involved. Officers arrested 28-year-old Juan Manuel Romero and 24-year-old Javier Alvarado, both of Watsonville, and they also were able to arrest two juveniles in another incident.
On Tuesday, at 1:15 pm, Watsonville Police responded to the First Baptist Church on a call of vandalism in progress. The caller stated to dispatchers from Santa Cruz County Communications that he has the suspect had been detained. When officers arrived at the scene they learned that the witness observed Juan Manuel Romero spray painting graffiti on the church. The witness was able to detain Romero while he called police.
Romero was found to be in possession of graffiti tools. He was arrested for two counts of felony vandalism, vandalism to a place of worship and vandalism with damage amounting to more than $400.00. The damage to the church was estimated to be about $1000.00.
On Sunday, shortly after midnight, police responded to a citizen report of vandalism occurring at Erik’s Deli. Officers responded and located 24-year-old Javier Alvarado walking away from the scene. Thanks to a description, the officers were able to detain Alvarado.
Officers arrested him after they found a black spray can in his possession. They searched the surrounding businesses and found more graffiti tags. Alvarado was arrested for vandalism and was cited and released. Total damaged of the graffiti was estimated at $600.00.
On Saturday a concerned citizen called police at about 8:34 pm, and reported vandalism in progress in the area of 326 Locust Street. Just as before, police responded and found two juveniles between the ages of 15 and 14 walking away from the scene. A search of the juvenile’s bedrooms produced an unloaded 9 mm handgun – the juvenile’s parents claimed to be unaware of the gun.
The two juveniles were arrested and transported to Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall.