FRESNO, California. (KGPE) – Fresno police are looking for the woman caught on camera vandalizing a Tower District mural.
They said the suspect, 42-year-old Sarah Guerrero, caused thousands of dollars in damages by throwing paint all over the artwork.
“There’s like sprinkles all over. This is like the main damage,” Ricky Bravo the development director of Neighborhood Industries said.
He said the now defaced mural was painted in 2009 as a sign of hope on the heels of the recession.
“It was really just a big community effort to make something beautiful for our neighborhood,” Bravo said.
On June 12th, a surveillance camera showed a woman using various tools to smear paint all over the artwork, before hurling the rest of the container across it and writing a message.
Lt. Israel Reyes said after screen grabs of the suspect were posted online she was easily identified as Guerrero, a woman living in a nearby home.
“At that time they weren’t able to arrest her based on some other investigative issues that needed to be completed,” Reyes said.
He said before taking her in, the cost of damages, now estimated at $10,000 had to be assessed so they could secure a felony vandalism charge.
“They actually contacted a Fresno City professor who was an expert in murals,” Reyes said.
The artwork was previously vandalized with blue paint shortly after it first went up more than a decade ago and artists worked to repaint it.
Bravo said instead of trying to restore it this time, it may be the perfect occasion to start fresh.
“I really think it just gives us an opportunity to do something beautiful again for our neighborhood. I know we just came out of another really historical period for people so maybe the Neighborhood Thrift mural 2.0 can tell a new story and tell our current story,” he said.
Police do know where Guerrero lives but did not know her whereabouts as of Friday. They’re asking the community to keep a lookout for her.