Woman caught on camera damaging mural outside central Fresno thrift shop

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno police are searching for a woman who vandalized a decade-old Tower District mural.

"Someone just walked up, they had a jug of paint and they just started slinging it on the wall," said Ricky Bravo, Development Director for Neighborhood Industries.

That act of vandalism was caught on surveillance cameras.

Fresno police officers say the woman vigorously splashing jugs of paint at the Neighborhood Thrift Store is Sarah Miranda Santilla-Guerrero.

She made sure to leave her mark on the decade-old mural painted on the side of the Tower District building.

"It is not good to see something like this happen to our building or happen to this art that the community really came together to make happen like 12, 13 years ago," said Bravo.

Bravo said it took several artists, hours and dollars to create the unique work of art. It's been defaced with graffiti in the past, but never like this.

"You know, it is hurtful," he said.

The vandalism happened last week at seven in the morning. A few days later, officers tracked down the suspect.

Detectives said Santilla-Guerrero lives in the Tower District close to the scene of the crime.

"At that point, we did not have enough to arrest her, there were still some investigative leads that needed to be tied up," said Fresno Police Lt. Isreal Reyes.

They needed to figure out the cost of damages to determine the charges.

An expert concluded the fix would total about $10,000, resulting in a felony charge.

When officers went back to arrest Santilla-Guerrero, she was gone.

"She is known to frequent the Tower District so hopefully, someone from the community can spot her," said Reyes.

Bravo doesn't know what motivated the attack, but is ready to move past the act of destruction.

"We are just looking forward to moving forward, restoring this and creating something beautiful again for our neighborhood," he said.

At the moment Neighborhood Thrift management don't know if they can restore the work of art or if the entire piece will have to be repainted.

To help Neighborhood Thrift restore their mural, click here.
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