Youths caught with aid of witness, video surveilance. Both released on citations
Two Taft youths face criminal charges for skateboarding on the Taft Oilworker Monument site Tuesday night.
The youths, both 17, were caught with the help of a witness walking down Rails to Trails and video surveillance cameras.
One of the boys was arrested at Taft Union High School at noon Wednesday and led off campus in handcuffs.?The second was arrested at his home, Lt. Ed Whiting said.
Both were released on citation to their parents.
Neither youth was identified, but Whiting confirmed that one of the suspects had appeared in court on Monday on a similar trespass charge.
Whiting said police received a report that the two suspects were inside the fence around the monument, which is under construction, at 8:44 p.m. Tuesday night.
Officers responded to the scene but the suspects had already fled, Whiting said.
Wednesday morning, officers reviewed video surveillance of the monument site and were able to identify the suspects, Whiting said.
The city is stepping up enforcement against vandalism and trespassing, especially along Rails to Trails and the monument site.?The crackdown will continue.
“The Taft Police Department and the City of Taft are committed to catching and prosecuting anyone vandalizing or trespassing on the monument during construction,” Whiting said.
The city is also offering a $1,000 reward for information on vandalism on any city property.