Close to 300 cans of spray paint, hundreds of felt tip markers and countless spray can tips were among the tagging equipment Ontario police found early this morning in two homes where they served two search warrants.
In addition to the tagging materials police found a .40 caliber hand gun and marijuana for sale, police said.
Officers arrested two 15-year-old boys, one from Ontario and one from Pomona, on suspicion of felony vandalism and taken to West Valley Juvenile Hall, said Officer Anthony Ortiz of the Ontario Police Department.
But police are still looking for two Ontario men, Albert Fierro, 28, and Joseph Hong, 29, who police believe are the heads of a tagging crew has left markings not just in Ontario but all around Southern California between San Diego and Los Angeles, Ortiz said.
“It’s amazing these guys haven’t grown up,” Ortiz said.
Ontario police, along with members of the Montclair police department, served the two warrants this morning.
The first warrant was served about 7 a.m. at Fierro’s home in the 800 block of East D Street, Ortiz said.
About 20 minutes later police served a warrant at Hong’s home in the 500 block of West G Street, he said.
Police found the boys, who were both runaways, at the D Street address and were able to link them with the tagging crew, Ortiz said, adding one of the teens admitted to having taking part in a tagging spree the night before.
Wednesday morning’s activities were the result of more than a year’s worth of investigative work, Ortiz said, part of which kicked into a higher gear in July after a large tagging piece was discovered on the wall of a commercial building at 1445 W. Brooks St., Ortiz said.
In that instance the taggers marked up a wall 30 to 40 yards long and about 25 feet high, he said.
The investigation in that case allowed police to develop the information that allowed them to determine who was behind the vandalism that has included markings on building walls, freeway sound walls, utility polls and even railroad freight cars, Ortiz said.
Aside from the cans of spray paint, markers and spray can tips, police also found a number of books about the culture of graffiti and tagging in addition to books with taggers work.
Police also found four 5-gallon cans of paint, paint rollers and a fiberglas ladder that’s about 12 feet tall, Ortiz said.
Taggers will use paint to cover over other people’s work or to create clean surface to put up their own markings, Ortiz said.
But it’s when taggers paint over other people markings that can create other problems, he said.
“That can start a gang war,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz said Ontario police officer Jeff Zeen was able to collect a great deal of information on the case related to the vandalism the group is suspected of committing in the city which allowed them to secure the warrants.
The information Ontario collected will be shared with other law enforcement agencies and could lead to additional charges, Ortiz said.
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