SAN BENITO — Six teenagers have been accused of vandalizing 50 to 60 cars, causing at least $50,000 in damage, over the weekend.
Police said the teens were riding through neighborhoods in a pickup truck and randomly spray painting cars Saturday night. In some cases, car windows were smashed.
Monday afternoon Derick Bujanos, 18, Abraham Cano, 18, Kristian Guzman, 19, and Johnathan Aranda, 18, all from San Benito, were arraigned on charges of criminal mischief, a third degree felony.
Guzman and Aranda have been charged with an additional state jail felony charges for criminal mischief. Their bonds were each set at $55,000. Bujanos and Cano were given bonds of $25,000 each.
Two juveniles were cited and released to their legal guardians.
“They were driving around in the back of an open bed truck and they were kind of hiding. They were slowly driving through neighborhoods,” Interim Police Chief Michael Galvan said yesterday.
“Some of those houses, they jumped out of the back of the truck and they went through people’s driveways and spray painted their cars.
“The others, they actually drove down the street and they would literally hang off the side of the truck and spray paint the cars as they went by real slow.
“So if there were say, 20 cars on one street, you’ve got 20 cars that got spray painted.”
They also smashed some car windows in addition to spray painting them, Galvan said.
Galvan said a preliminary estimate is at least $39,000 in damage, but that total increased to at least $50,000 on Monday.
“We want to send a message out that we’re not going to tolerate this,” Galvan said.
“We are going to go for the highest charge possible. We are looking at felony criminal mischief charges.”
Asked why the teens were damaging cars, Galvan said, “We’re trying to figure that out. They just decided to come into town and do some damage…
“It was just a random act of stupidity.”