Thursday, April 26, saw the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station vandalized by an unknown suspect. Deputies reviewing camera footage said that the suspect had ridden up on a foot-powered scooter and spray painted cryptic messages on the front of the station. Investigators were having difficulty deciphering the message, though it appeared to make a reference to a DEA agent named Enrique Camarena who was killed in 1985.
Vandalism is covered under California Penal Code 594 PC and is described as damaging, destroying, or defacing with graffiti, someone else’s property. Vandalism can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history and the circumstances of the crime. Typically, it’s charged as a misdemeanor if the damage or destruction to the property is valued at less than $400. Misdemeanor vandalism carries a bail cost of $1,000 as per the Los Angeles County Bail Schedule. If the damage to the property is $400 or greater, then it’s possible for the crime to be charged as a felony which brings with it a bail cost of $5,000. If the property that was vandalized was a church or a cemetery, the crime is always a felony and bail is set at $50,000.
The penalties for misdemeanor charges include misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 (or $5,000 for repeat-offenders) and/or restitution. Felony charges include the possible penalties of up to 1 year in county jail, a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or restitution.
The cost to remove the spray paint from the front of the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station is unknown at this time.