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News Release

Friday, August 25, 2006

Media Relations

Mother Arrested with Children for Tagging

Los Angeles: A 42-year-old mother has been arrested for chauffeuring a tagging crew of juveniles around the Silver Lake area as they repeatedly vandalized private and public property. Two of the taggers were her sons.

On August 22, 2006, around 4:30 p.m., Victoria Villicano and five others were arrested for vandalism. Northeast Area officers had responded to a call of vandals near Micheltorena Elementary School, in the 1500 block of Micheltorena Street. When police arrived, they saw fresh spray paint on a wall, bearing the letters "HIV" in black. As officers were conducting the investigation, they received an additional report of spray painting suspects near Sunset Boulevard and Rosemont Avenue. The officers responded immediately. They found and arrested Villicano, the driver of an SUV, and five subjects with paint on their hands.

Witnesses came forward and identified all subjects as those who had spray painted the letters "HIV" along Sunset Boulevard. One of the witnesses saw Villicano driving the SUV and allowing the subjects to paint graffiti at multiple locations. The witness followed Villicano's vehicle and called police to report the crimes.

The officers found new graffiti all along Sunset Boulevard, between Virgil Avenue and Lemoyne Street, a distance of over two miles. The graffiti primarily contained the letters "HIV" or "HIVC" at more than 100 locations. A preliminary estimate of the damage was "tens of thousands" of dollars.

It was determined that Villicano was the mother of David Ramirez, 19, and one of four juvenile suspects, ages 14-16. All suspects were booked for 594 PC, Vandalism. Villicano is being held with no bail. Ramirez's bail is $1,000.

Northeast Detectives are handling the investigation. No motive has been established.

The graffiti was videotaped and will be made available to the media.

Anyone with information is asked to call Northeast Detectives at 213-485-2566. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).