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East Ventura County Focus

THOUSAND OAKS : 2 High Schools Hit by Graffiti Vandals

September 09, 1993|MACK REED

Vandals spray-painted graffiti all over Thousand Oaks High School, and on one building at Newbury Park High School after dark on Tuesday, but by midday Wednesday it was gone, school officials said.

Ventura County sheriff's deputies said the graffiti at Thousand Oaks High School was gang-related, but the cleanup cost was not expensive enough to top the $5,000 damage estimate needed to label the crime a felony. Police are investigating both incidents, said Sgt. Bruce Watlington.

Thousand Oaks High School Principal Keith Wilson said the vandalism--which cost $1,000 to clean up--was among the worst incidents of graffiti tagging he has seen at the school.

Taggers using green, white and fluorescent orange spray-painted scrawled graffiti on sidewalks and 13 different walls on seven buildings at Thousand Oaks High, where a grounds worker discovered it at 4 a.m., said Wilson.

Wilson said he summoned nine more workers to help paint over the vandalized walls, sandblast the sidewalks and use solvent to wipe graffiti off banks of lockers--much of it before students arrived Wednesday morning for the start of classes.

"I was really angry, and so were the kids," Wilson said. "The first day of school, they come back . . . and the students were really upset, and I share that."

Chuck Eklund, principal of Newbury Park High School, said that school employees discovered "a little bit" of graffiti in blue paint on the boys' activity room about 6:15 a.m., but it was painted over that morning.

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