Suspect in statue vandalism case arrested


CHICO, Calif. - On March 19, shortly after 9 p.m., someone kicked and damaged the statue of General Vang Pao in downtown Chico. On April 26, Chico police made an arrest in the case after getting a tip from a civilian.

Luis Rojas Jr., 31, was arrested for felony vandalism after a citizen spotted him and recognized the bicycle from the surveillance video. That individual alerted Chico police to Rojas Jr.'s location who was then arrested and taken to the Butte County Jail.

"This case highlights the success that can be achieved through community policing practices and is the latest example of the proactive work of the Target Team," said Chico Police Department Chief Michael O'Brien. "Our goal is to target all manner of criminal activity. While General Vang Pao is an historic figure to the Hmong community, this act of vandalism was an affront to all citizens of Chico."

Chico police had released surveillance footage of Rojas, at the time unidentified, kicking the statue of General Vang Pao. He was also seen riding a red bicycle to the area, sitting at a nearby fountain, then proceeding to damage the statue. Two video surveillance cameras captured the vandalism incident.

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