Local News

May 2, 2014 4:49 AM by Lindsay MacLeod, KSBY News

Santa Barbara police arrest man in connection with at least 26 cases of vandalism

Santa Barbara police arrested a Santa Barbara man they say admitted to committing 26 cases of graffiti vandalism in Santa Barbara.

Police arrested Eduardo Robert Aguilar, 19, on Thursday after serving a search warrant at his home on the 500 block of West Alamar Avenue.

Back on December 10, 2013, police were called out to investigate a suspicious vehicle on Santa Cruz Boulevard. They arrived and found Aguilar and one other person, who police say had been smoking marijuana in the car.

Police searched the car and found a notebook filled with sketches of graffiti tagging and a backpack full of aerosol paint cans. Aguilar told police he was attending art classes and taking part in a community art program.

One of the officers had previously investigated and photographed more than 100 graffiti vandalism crime scenes, and she thought some of the sketches in the notebook resembled some of those cases. The officer photographed the notebook. Aguilar was cited for possession of marijuana.

The officer later shared the photographs with a detective, and over the next four months, police say they were able to tie Aguilar to more than 30 cases of graffiti vandalism that had taken place since July of 2013.

The vandalism happened in several locations throughout the city, but mostly on the Westside.

Police say the graffiti defaced more than 1,150 square feet of property and caused more than $21,500 worth of damage.

On Wednesday, detectives obtained a search warrant for Aguilar's home. They served the warrant Thursday, and Aguilar was arrested. Police say he admitted to being involved in 26 of the cases linked to him in the investigation.

He was booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail. He could be charged with felony vandalism and misdemeanor possession of vandalism tools. His bail is set at $20,000.

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