Teen at large as Avondale police crack down on 'tagging crew'Posted: Updated:
AVONDALE, Ariz. – A two-month-long investigation led to the arrest of a 12-year-old and police are now looking for additional suspects in a criminal damage investigation.
The Avondale Police Community Action Team (CAT) conducted a search warrant Thursday at the home of one of the members of an alleged ‘tagging crew’ that police believe is a criminal street gang. The warrant was a result of numerous criminal damage complaints from residents in the Coldwater Ridge neighborhood near Buckeye Road and Durango Street.
Police was first contacted when neighbors noticed public property being damaged by spray paint, markers and other materials used to deface buildings.
A news release from Avondale police indicates neighbors would paint over the graffiti but the ‘tagging crew’ would return and cause additional damage.
Police estimate there were dozens of calls reporting criminal damage and that damage is estimated at thousands of dollars.
“The graffiti and tagging in a neighborhood such as this one is an example of many neighborhoods in the Valley that experience this blight, but in this case the Avondale Police took the concerned voices of the residents to heart and identified the problem,” says Det. Reuben M. Gonzalez.
With the help of the neighborhood association, officers were able to identify some of the responsible parties, including 18-year-old Ronald Hanyon. He reportedly lives in the neighborhood and was seen by officers defacing property. He remains outstanding.
Police gathered evidence during the search warrant that indicated that Hanyon’s younger brother was also involved in the alleged criminal damage.
Several other individuals have also been named as possible suspects but police are not releasing their names.
The 12-year-old who is in custody was referred to the Maricopa County Juvenile Court and faces misdemeanor criminal charges and possession of spray paint as a minor.