Parks Bureau leads operation to arrest three alleged vandals

Detectives photograph the drugs and guns, one of which was an AR-15, they reportedly seized during a warrant search operation in Val Verde. Photo courtesy of the LASD North County Parks Bureau.

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Parks Bureau set out Wednesday morning in the hopes of stopping a handful of alleged graffiti vandals from plastering gang-related insignias on Val Verde Park walls. 

However, after serving a warrant around 10 a.m. at a residence on the 30000 block of San Martinez Road in Val Verde, the Parks Bureau detectives walked away with more than a few cans of spray paint. 

“We’ve just been having a large rate of taggings, and we’ve been getting hit pretty hard at Val Verde Park,” said Lt. Andrew Dahring, who heads up the North County Parks Bureau team for LASD. “It was indicated that it was part of the local gang (in Val Verde).”

Since October of last year, there have been 23 different tagging incidents at Val Verde Park. And despite the North County Parks Bureau beefing up their patrols in the area to address the issue and concerns of the community, they still felt further action needed to be taken. 

“And so my detectives developed some information, and were able to write a search warrant behind some of the tagging,” said Dahring.

Dahring and the North County Parks Bureau team are responsible for a territory that covers multiple communities within Los Angeles County, from Altadena to Lancaster to San Fernando. However, with only three or four detectives regularly on duty at any given time right now, North County enlisted the help of some fellow LASD agencies to conduct their warrant search.

Joining the parks detectives was a coalition of different LASD teams, from Parole Compliance, to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s Career Offender — Burglary, Robbery, Assault detectives, to members of the SCV Community Protection Unit. 

Once reaching the residence, the warrant was issued and access was made into the home by law enforcement personnel. 

“We ended up recovering a couple firearms, one of which was an AR-15, some methamphetamine … and some tagging (equipment)” said Dahring. “We ended up arresting three people (two men and one woman) related to the recovery of the firearms and the tagging at Val Verde Park.”

The three suspects were then transported and booked at the SCV Sheriff’s Station. They were taken without incident or injury, officials said.

“Obviously, we do care about the community as well,” said Dahring. “But our team’s focus is the parks of Los Angeles County, so that it’s a safer community the residents can feel safe in and not intimidated while enjoying their own park.”

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