Taggers paint the town

It was the talk of the town this week. Five males from Oxnard last Thursday left a trail of graffiti from Pepperdine University to Ventura County, the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station reported.

“It’s got a lot of people buzzing,” said Lt. Thom Bradstock, Malibu’s liaison with the station.

A Point Dume resident told The Malibu Times she saw the markings at 7:45 a.m. last Thursday. The street sign at John Tyler Drive, rocks on Pepperdine’s front lawn, trees, street signs, guard rails, homes, walls, restaurant signs (including the one at Malibu Seafood) bathrooms and lifeguard headquarters at Zuma Beach, Starbucks at Trancas, and Neptune’s Net at the county line. “Anything they could write on,” she said.

Deputies say two suspects confessed, but the deputies are asking for the public’s help in getting a complete tally of victims and damage. So far, the city of Malibu, Pepperdine University, the state Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the L.A. County Department of Beach and Harbors are the only victims identified, said Det. Chris Germann, the lead investigator.

Germann would like a more extensive tally when he presents his case to the district attorney. He asks the public to call him at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, 310.456.6652 or 818.878.1808, ext. 3006.

The suspects (two juveniles and three men, ages 19 and 20, all from Oxnard) were identified when their vehicle was stopped at 2 a.m. that morning at Pacific Coast Highway near Corral Canyon, deputies said. There were spray paint cans in the vehicle, and one suspect had a pocketful of nozzle caps, said Bradstock. There were several pairs of surgical gloves to keep the paint off the suspects, and the fresh smell of paint inside the car, he said.

Bradstock said they could not arrest the suspects for two reasons: Deputies did not see the vandalism in progress, and at the time they did not know a felony vandalism (at least $5,000 worth of damage) had occurred, Bradstock said.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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