Racist graffiti covered cars, other property in Tarpey Village

TARPEY VILLAGE, Calif.

The vandalism included racist symbols and messages. It happened Thursday morning near Sussex and Manila.

Investigators say the three teen suspects were still covered in spray paint when they found them. Deputies say they got the paint from a city of Clovis utility truck parked in the neighborhood. Their spree could have serious consequences since they spray painted some racist messages.

Nicole Long couldn't believe what she was seeing Thursday morning when a neighbor knocked on the door to tell her about her rainbow colored car.

"I'm glad they caught the guys that did this to my car," said Long. "I'm really upset right now. I'm kinda speechless. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. I've never had any of my property vandalized before."

Across the street another neighbor worked to scrub the paint off his El Camino. All the while wondering what would inspire these teenagers to do something so malicious.

"What kind of a mean spirited kid would be doing this stuff? Either you just a bad seed or you just bored, or what. It's just sad."

Block after block, from homes, to cars, streets, and fences... the suspects vandalized property, in some cases leaving racist symbols and messages.

Sheriff's investigators say 20 people were victims. Deputies say the guardian's of the suspects were cooperative and helped track the boys down.

"They made contact with these juveniles and found them to be completely covered in paint similar to the paint that was used in the vandalism," said Chris Curtice. "The investigation continued and ultimately the three juveniles were arrested."

Damages were so extensive and wide ranging, that it's been difficult for deputies to tally up all the damages.

One neighbor says this area in Tarpey Village is primarily working class with people of different ethnic backgrounds.

"It's terrible," said Dede Zardo. "People work hard to keep their yards and houses nice. They work hard for their money and these kids are out here tearing it up."

What infuriated victims most was to find out the suspects live in the area and trashed their own neighborhood. Several victims hope the teens will be given the toughest punishment.

The suspects are facing potential charges of felony vandalism and hate crimes. Much of the vandalism was cleaned up within hours, several people with extensive damage to their cars had to have them towed to repair shops.

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