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MISSION VIEJO : Motorist’s Tip Leads to Arrest of 4 Teens

Four teen-age boys were arrested on suspicion of malicious mischief late Sunday when a motorist on Interstate 5 spotted them spraying graffiti on a northbound road sign and called police.

Sheriff’s deputies, who recognized the markings from other South County areas, drove to the Mission Viejo home of one of the youths and waited for them to arrive, Lt. Tom Garner said.

A 17-year-old from Costa Mesa and three Mission Viejo youths were arrested when they arrived at the house on El Cortijo Lane, Garner said. Their names were not released because of their ages.

Garner said the motorist saw the boys defacing a road sign near El Toro Road. He urged others who see vandals to report them to police. “It’s good to see citizens getting involved when they see this stuff,” he said. “That’s how we can catch these people.”

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Garner said slogans and names similar to the markings on the roadway signs have been documented by police on other walls and signs in the South County area.

The four boys were questioned by deputies and then released to their parents. The deputies also seized more than 20 cans of spray paint, Garner said.

Garner said the four boys were booked on misdemeanor charges, but there is a possibility they could still be charged with a felony if more damage can be attributed to them.


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