Turlock

What Turlock police say about gang-related graffiti on downtown businesses, vehicles

MS-13: The homegrown gang Trump wants to deport

President Trump has used MS-13 to justify hardline immigration policies. But the gang he’s trying to root out was born right here in the United States.
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President Trump has used MS-13 to justify hardline immigration policies. But the gang he’s trying to root out was born right here in the United States.

A number of downtown Turlock businesses and vehicles were spray-painted with gang-related graffiti Saturday night, police report.

Officers were dispatched Sunday morning to vandalism discovered on the 200 block of East Main Street, Police Department spokesman Sgt. Russell Holeman said.

Investigating officers also found related graffiti in Central Park and at the Bank of Stockton, both in the immediate area, Holeman said. More was discovered almost a quarter mile away, on the 300 block of South First Street.

The total vandalism was estimated at under $2,000, the sergeant said. Officers also found shoe impressions and will be reviewing surveillance video footage, he said.

All the graffiti has been documented, Holeman said, and determined to be related to the international criminal gang MS-13. That is not to say it was painted by MS-13 gang members. “It could be people just putting it out there to get attention,” the sergeant said.

Holeman said he does not believe there are any documented MS-13 members living in Turlock or other nearby jurisdictions.

MS-13 first emerged in the 1980s in Los Angeles and its members are from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and other parts of Central and South America. The gang now has a presence across the country, with about 10,000 members, according to a McClatchy story from January.

Members of the gang have been convicted and accused of everything from murder and hostage-taking to racketeering, the story says. It’s one of the largest criminal groups in the U.S. and operates in nearly every state.

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