Morgan Hill Police arrested a juvenile who is accused of vandalizing dozens of vehicles and other private property with spray paint.
Shortly after midnight Feb. 3, the police department began receiving calls from residents in a neighborhood off Peppertree Drive in east Morgan Hill. The callers reported their vehicles had been vandalized with spray paint, according to MHPD Sgt. Bill Norman.
Officers arrived to the area to investigate the initial report, and quickly noticed that a vehicle as well as a nearby house and fence had been spray painted, Norman said. With some of the paint still fresh, more officers arrived to canvas the neighborhood for evidence leading to a suspect.
As the officers searched the neighborhood, they noticed that several more vehicles had been similarly vandalized with paint, Norman said. The police department also continued to receive calls from other residents reporting similar vandalism.
As of Feb. 5, residents had reported that at least 27 vehicles in the neighborhood had been tagged with spray paint, according to police. Several homes, fences and outbuildings had also been vandalized.
The vehicles and property had been spray painted with foul language, apparently directed at a specific individual, Norman said.
As officers continued to search the neighborhood early in the morning Feb. 3, they located a male teen who matched a subject who was depicted on a home surveillance camera just prior to the initial reports, Norman said. The teen ran to the backyard of a home and tried to hide in a garbage can.
Police surrounded and arrested the juvenile, who was in possession of a can of spray paint that matched the color of paint on the vandalized vehicles, Norman said.
The teen was booked at juvenile hall on suspicion of numerous felony vandalism charges, police said. Authorities are not identifying the 15-year-old suspect because he is a juvenile.