“Valencia business owner helps catch felony vandalism suspect. On Tuesday, August 20, a business owner on Cinema Drive contacted the sheriff’s station. He wanted to let deputies know that he recognized an individual at a store on the 23100 block Valencia Boulevard as being the same individual who vandalized a planter in front of his business that very same morning!
Deputies immediately responded to the location and found a man in the store who matched the description of the one caught committing vandalism on the business’s surveillance footage.
William Martinez, 29, a transient, was arrested on charges of felony vandalism.
The suspect in this crime was apprehended quickly thanks to great observations by the business owner and a quick response by deputies. Truly a case of teamwork!”
Vandalism is covered under California Penal Code 545 PC and is charged when someone damages, destroys, or defaces with graffiti, someone else’s property. The crime is a “wobbler” which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history.
Typically, the severity of a vandalism charge will depend on the value of the property damage that was done. When the property damage amounts to less than $400, the crime is a straight misdemeanor. The possible penalties include informal probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. However, the crime becomes a “wobbler” when the dollar amount of the property damage done is greater than or equal to $400. If the criteria are met to make the crime a “wobbler,” and it’s charged as a misdemeanor, then the defendant faces up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $10,000 (or $50,000 if the amount of the damage was valued at $10,000 or more), and/or informal probation. However, when charged as a felony, the potential penalties increase significantly. They include a jail sentence of 16 months to 3 years, or up to 1 year in jail with probation, a maximum fine of $10,000 (or $50,000 if the value of the damage done was $10,000 or more), or probation.