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3 Teens Suspected in Graffiti Incidents

January 13, 1998|VERONIQUE de TURENNE

Three teenagers arrested on suspicion of spraying graffiti on the old city hall building on New Year's Eve are believed to be responsible for about 50 similar occurrences in and around the city, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies arrested Irwin Tobias Matutina, 18, of Thousand Oaks, and two 17-year-old males, one from Thousand Oaks and one from Camarillo, who were not identified because of their age.

"There had been ongoing vandalism at the site, and, it being New Year's Eve, we thought it probable there would be some activity there," said Senior Deputy Brian Richmond of the department's Special Enforcement Detail.

Patrol units staked out the old city hall, at 401 Hillcrest Drive, Richmond said. About 11:45 p.m., the youths were caught allegedly spray-painting the building, Richmond said.

Investigators were able to tie the youths to about 50 other instances of graffiti and vandalism in the area in the last three or four months, Richmond said.

"The investigation is complete and has been sent to the district attorney for review," he said.

"No charges have been filed at this time."

The suspects were not gang members, and the vandalism was not gang-related, Richmond said.

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