Utah teen charged in Danville memorial vandalism case

Single felony count filed for June 8 graffiti at All Wars Memorial

An 18-year-old man now living in Utah has been charged with a felony vandalism count stemming from a June graffiti incident at Danville's All Wars Memorial, town police announced Wednesday.

Jared Vance, who was a local resident before recently relocating to Provo, Utah, has not yet been arrested but was told he'd been deemed a suspect in the Danville memorial vandalism case, according to Danville police Sgt. Brian Sliger.

Vance is the only person facing a criminal charge for the incident following a nearly two-month investigation, Sliger said.

"We are very glad that we were able to bring closure to this case, and we empathize with our local veterans who were affected by the vandalism of this important memorial," Danville police chief Steve Simpkins said in a statement.

Authorities found graffiti on the pavement, stone paths and granite benches at the memorial in Oak Hill Park on the morning of June 8.

Police later released a faint photograph, pulled from nighttime video from a camera at the park, showing "persons of interest" walking in the direction of the memorial around 3:30 a.m. June 8.

A reward was offered for information in the case, ultimately growing to $12,000 – with funds provided by town officials and private contributors.

The outpouring of community support was vital during the investigation, Sliger said. Investigators followed up on tips and other case information before presenting their findings to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, which filed a single felony vandalism count against Vance.

Police identified other people who were at the park during that time, but Vance is the only one charged in connection with the vandalism, Sliger said.

Vance was "from the area" but recently moved to Utah, according to the sergeant, who said the relocation was pre-planned and not an effort to evade police. Sliger declined to specify where in the Bay Area Vance used to live.

Danville police also declined to release a photograph of Vance, citing department policy.

The felony charge has been filed against Vance, but an arrest warrant hasn't yet been issued, Sliger said.

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15 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2015 at 7:24 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

I hate vandalism. I hate it probably more than anyone I know.

But spraying paint is a FELONY??


This guy will have to disclose that he’s a felon on every job application for the rest of his life.

Typical felonies include crimes like arson, murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, etc.

Should this be in that same category of crime?

4 people like this
Posted by Dan davis
a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2015 at 7:41 am


When it's all said and done I'll be het pleads to a misdemeanor and gets 6 months probation or community service. Just the way the system works.

4 people like this
Posted by Katelyn
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 3, 2015 at 8:08 am

Herman- the felony charge is based on the amount of damage- over $400 and it's a felony, under that a misdemeanor. But I agree with Dan's guess about the outcome.

6 people like this
Posted by Catherine
a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2015 at 8:11 am

Vance should have been charged with a felony for the numerous acts of vandalism he committed throughout the park. If he had only spray painted one thing, that probably would a misdemeanor as it probably would have been under the $400 mark, but that is not what happened. This generation of humans needs to finally have some boundaries set, and if this incident makes others think twice, then the justice system has done its job both with punishment and deterrent.

10 people like this
Posted by P
a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2015 at 9:12 am

I hate any kind of destruction of public property including unwanted graffiti on public property, which some consider "art". I hope this young man gets charged with a felony and is responsible for all costs of removal, police time, and the rewards. I am tire of the taxpayers/citizens paying for such irresponsible behavior. That kind of punishment will definitely stop more of such behavior. As far as a record for the rest of that person's life, well so be it. That young man knew he was doing wrong or else he would have continued with such behavior in the light of day in front of other witnesses; I would bet that he probably has done this type of crime before however it was his first time getting caught. We, the public, have to stop being soft towards any criminal behavior because it encourages the attitude of "it's no big deal." Perhaps his upbringing was lenient which encouraged such behavior in this young adult's thinking that he can get away with things. The acorn doesn't fall to far from the tree. I have heard too many times from protective parents the comment, "not my kid" which would be the kind of attitude to make a kid think that he could get away with such behavior because if he can fool his parents, he can fool the public and police. Discipline and a firm upbringing/teachings of right and wrong hasn't hurt or killed any child.

7 people like this
Posted by Tracy
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 3, 2015 at 9:40 am

I have to agree with Herman with regards to the charge of Felony for this crime. It seems a bit too harsh.

I also like what "P" says about having the boy be responsible for all costs associated with clean up, police time and payment of reward money.

I think since he didn't physically hurt someone, he should do community service in addition to the fine. Kids hate working. That is the best punishment for him. He can't just pay a fine or sit in jail on our dime. Put him to work here in our community. Maybe he will learn a useful skill or learn to respect people and his surroundings. Then he can move back to Utah.

5 people like this
Posted by Herman Glates
a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2015 at 10:16 am

Herman Glates is a registered user.

Spank him.

That’s what they do in Singapore to graffiti “artists.” You don’t see any graffiti over there.

Corporal punishment works.

4 people like this
Posted by Will
a resident of Danville
on Sep 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm

I remember when a photo from a video recording was posted shortly after this happened. There was more than one person in that photo, and the police even mentioned there were "persons of interest". When I look at the graffiti the letters of the words appear to be from more than one person. Were are the other "persons of interest"? Did they choose to keep their mouths quiet and let their buddy suffer the consequences alone? It makes me wonder why the cops put the blame on one kid. Also, I think that an 18 year old is responsible for their actions, however a felony is a harsh punishment, especially because it was not all Vance's fault as you can see from the various hand writings. I hope that when this goes to court the other people will be brought to justice too, not just one kid taking all the blame.

15 people like this
Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Diablo
on Sep 3, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Jared Vance - bad Utah teen/man, whatever. Hurray for the cops. Great police work. Except Vance is no more a Utahn, than a summer vacation in Hawaii makes someone Hawaiian. He was a local his entire life until 3 months ago. And the others involved won’t get so much as a slap on the wrist.

The comment was, ‘Tired of paying for irresponsible behavior”. I’m sorry to say you’ve got more problems to deal with than just Vance. Let me ask: Who is responsible for not getting ALL the other perps, still running free with their cans of paint? Vance is gone, but does a problem remain? And where did the paint come from? Vance didn’t have a job and had moved out of his parent’s house earlier in the spring, a week after he turned 18. He had no job and no money. His artistic talent wasn’t paint, it was the piano. He doesn’t sound like the leader of this episode.

The commentaries are: “Discipline firm upbringing”? and “The acorn doesn’t fall very far from the tree”? Now we’re getting somewhere. It’s got to be the parent’s fault, that’s a nice soft target. Parents that adopted him, loved him, gave him a home out of the ‘system’, took him hiking and camping. They supported the Boy Scouts and helped him become an Eagle Scout. Wait – Reality check --As an Eagle Scout he had to do numerous acts of community service. So what is really going on?

So its got to be the grand parents then; wrong again. His grand-father was a WWII vet, flying with the air crew on B-24’s in the Army Air Corps. Tough old bird, only begins to describe him. Maybe it’s the family friends that twisted him. Hmmm nope; many of Vance family friends are retired cops: life-long cops, sergeants, chiefs, captains and some currently serving. No perps in that crowd.

On top of that, these parents, together, TOOK him to church all his life, one of the most conservative and morally strict churches in the country. Not to mention that this particular organization is most often the first one at the scene of a natural disaster to render aid and support to all community members. He was raised on community service. So where was this anti-community, anti-parent, anti-social behavior incubated?

Who nurtured this narcissistic, look at me behavior, including those who before the fact, encouraged irresponsible behavior undermining everything he had been raised to do and to believe. He wasn’t yet college age, so it wasn’t Berserkly. But it was in school that the upbringing his parents had tried to instill was undercut, marginalized and sidelined. The school system was teaching him what his rights were. I say ‘were’ because as a felon he will be stripped of those so-called rights.

What about the music teacher that encourages marijuana use to free Vance’s artistic talent. The teacher who took a piano virtuoso and encouraged him to smoke dope, eat magic mushrooms (that was the art depicted right?) and learn guitar so he could play ‘House of the Rising Sun’ and recapture the glory of the sixties. Are you kidding me? WTF!! And this guy is still working at Clayton High?

The comment was that, “he had to know he was doing wrong”? The joke is that he was posting his ‘art’ on social media just like he was taught in school. That’s how he was caught.

The Vances were asking the cops to intervene in this kids life long before June. The school system coddled hem and taught him license, freedom, irresponsibility and lack of consequences to his actions. He was doing what his scholastic mentors had encouraged him to do. Rebel against his parents and find his own way, because we mustn’t discourage the creativity of these precious youngsters.

So lets strip him of his rights and future and then brand him a felon, because it will surely be more effective than a branding iron. And then the suggested solution is to ship him back to Utah? Where he has a job and the opportunity to finish high school and become productive in society?

Because the schools in this area taught him he didn’t have to listen to his parents or local authorities. To wit; they teach children that if they don’t like the discipline dished out by their parents to call the cops. And if they get spanked the parents will be the ones facing charges; spank him and go to jail!

Lets not use trite clichés, and easy knee jerk solutions. There is a problem still brewing here in this valley, beyond the walls of Vance’s home and it will take a smart, studied, concerted effort on all of our parts to remedy.

11 people like this
Posted by sponge bob roundpants
a resident of Danville
on Sep 4, 2015 at 4:30 am

Wow Bay Area Native, you have a plethora of issues but no solutions. I blame nobody but the kid himself. He "posted his art" on a public memorial, in a semi-permanent manner. Laws are laws for a reason and this one is easy - don't deface other peoples' property. And if you do, be prepared to suffer the consequences. Additionally, educate yourself on the consequences if you're going to participate (or initiate) actions that are clearly against the law (felony? misdemeanor?). This person is defined as an adult and should be punished based on that. And by the way, your statement "problem brewing in this valley" is comical. Go somewhere (anywhere) else and you'll see the same issues, only typically far more severe. This "little valley" is pretty isolated from the rest of the planet.

4 people like this
Posted by Susan
a resident of Danville
on Sep 5, 2015 at 10:38 am

I agree with your perspective...

Why are the police only going after one of the many kids involved in this crime?

The 5 photos of the graffitti posted are definitely done by different individuals ...just look at handwriting and styles.
One article in news said Vance only did red and black Graffiti not the others.
So who did the other 4?

Is it easier to close the case on one person rather than spend the effort to investigate correctly and nail the group of kids who defaced this memorial?

After all, Vance does know who the other kids are? If this has been a two three month investigation, I suppose the police has those names...and Vance is an eye witness.

So why are these other persons of interest not being charged with Felonies too?

5 people like this
Posted by Concerned Veteran
a resident of Danville
on Sep 5, 2015 at 4:37 pm

An wide range of comments from the community... at least it's good to see others are "concerned" for a variety of reasons.
Regarding the charge... the report said - Felony "Vandalism" and the only reason is that the damages were over $400. - and that is not counting the hundreds of hours expended by the Danville Police Department in investigation - and the Maintenance Department with the cleaning of the damage... not to mention the reward posted. Something happened with this kid going off the tracks somewhere along the line - most likely with the company or "so-called" friends he keeps and ran with! It appears they all left him high & dry taking the blame by himself... unfortunate. As a parent - I always knew who my kids were out with - even if I was not aware of exactly what they were doing every moment. Everyone seems to wonder about the penalty for Felony Vandalism - maybe being too harsh... hardly since it is usually probation & community service! He should hope they do not require him to meet with the many Veteran groups to tell his story - or with families who honored & memorialized warriors & fallen heroes at the memorial! As far as his friends go... in order to prosecute and forward any case to the DA - you need "proof" - not just someone "ratting" out a friend. Think the Danville Police did a good job in helping to bring this case to the courts where he will face a judge and pay the price for his actions.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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