‘Tagging’ arrests made in San Carlos 

Six alleged vandals have been arrested and charged with "tagging" buildings in the city’s industrial zone and causing an estimated $20,000 to $50,000 in damage.

Police on Saturday arrested Christopher Palomarez, 19, of San Carlos; Jonathan Slocum, Tomothy McAdams, Ashley Jahns and Joseph Squillacioti, all 18 and from Redwood City; and a 16-year-old juvenile suspect.

The suspects were spotted by San Carlos police Detective Tom Marinos at approximately 10:30 p.m. spray-painting graffiti on a building on the 1700 block of Industrial Road, according to San Carlos police Sgt. Mark Robbins.

Although police do not know why the suspects began tagging buildings two weeks ago, they do notbelieve the graffiti is gang-related.

The tags included the words and phrases "OXIN," "FIEND," "GRIND," "ENDVR," "B.KREW," "BONSAI," "PALIN REAPER," "SNEAL," "IOA" and "SHRED."

The tags were "very sizable — these aren’t just a little scribble on a mailbox. They were tagging entire walls," Robbins said. "It’s a big imposition and expense for the property owner."

Up to seven businesses in the industrial area were defaced during the graffiti spree.

Two of those — a building at 850 E. San Carlos Ave. and its neighbor — were tagged multiple times on the weekend of March 3 and 4, much to the dismay of owners who were in the process of selling the building, according to Mark Lockenmeyer, a real estate agent with Cornish & Carey.

"The tenants were very upset and felt threatened somewhat because people were there after hours," Lockenmeyer said.

The vandalism did not affect the sale of the building, but the new owners had to spend more money to paint over the tags, he said.

Graffiti like this is relatively rare in San Carlos, according to Robbins. Unless city-owned property is damaged, it’s up to property owners to clean up themselves, a fact many local businesses take in stride.

"It's a burden on the property owners to fix it themselves, but if the city didn’t do it, I’m not sure they should be responsible for paying for it," said Sheryl Pomerenk, president of the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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