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Man turns himself in for vandalizing memorial 

Veterans Memorial Atascadero

Update 2 p.m., Jan. 3, 2014:

Vandalism suspect surrenders at police station

On Jan. 2 at about 11 p.m., Sean David Cronin, 49, of Atascadero, walked into the lobby of the Atascadero Police Department and surrendered for being responsible for this incident. During an interview Cronin confessed to damaging the Atascadero Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial and fleeing the scene. Cronin was placed under arrest for violation of probation and transported and booked at San Luis Obispo County Jail. Cronin’s truck was impounded as evidence. Additional charges will be filed with the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.

Update 5 p.m., Jan. 2, 2014:

Video surveillance has been recovered

The Atascadero Police Department’s Investigations Unit has been conducting follow up investigation into this incident. Video surveillance has been recovered from the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial. The suspect vehicle description has been updated to a 1988 to 1997 Chevrolet Crew Cab pickup with complete black lumber rack, maroon in color, toolbox in the bed, with chrome body trim along the base of the both sides of the vehicle, to include around the wheel wells. The rear windows of the pickup are dark tinted. The tailgate of the truck has a chrome strip with the word Chevrolet in black across it. Video clips of the pickup have been attached to this media release.

Original report:

Atascadero Veterans Memorial vandalized

On Jan. 1, at about 10:05 a.m., Atascadero Police Officers were dispatched to the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial, located at the intersection of Portola Road and Morro Road, regarding a vandalism/hit and run.

A bystander observed a mid 1980’s red Chevrolet pickup truck drive through the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial grounds damaging several benches and lighting fixtures. The vehicle fled the location on Amapoa Avenue prior to officer’s arrival. Responding officers conducted an extensive area check for the suspect vehicle which ended with negative results.

The vehicle is described as a mid 1980s Chevrolet pickup. The vehicle is dark red and has a
diamond plated tool box in the bed and some type of rack.

The damage to the memorial has been initially estimated at $15,000.00.

City of Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley states, “On behalf of the Council I am saddened to hear about the damage done to the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial this morning. While I am disheartened that an individual or individuals caused the damage, at the same time I am encouraged by the quick response of our City staff members, Memorial Foundation representatives and community members. We ask for the community’s continued response in providing the Police Department with any information they may have regarding the incident. “

Video surveillance of the incident is being reviewed to assist in identifying the suspects. The Atascadero Police Department’s Traffic Unit is continuing to investigate this incident.

About the author: Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the editor and publisher of the Paso Robles Daily News.

9 Responses to Man turns himself in for vandalizing memorial

  1. Super Dave

    Catch ‘em and turn the bum over to the Vets…

  2. Mike

    A 49 year old man? At the risk of stereotyping, I thought it was going to end up being some drunk teens who were still “celebrating” new year by being idiots. Cronin just made himself with Mr. Popular with veterans and everyone who appreciates veterans. That group likely makes up about 98% of the local population.

  3. erin whin

    No whats funny is the fact the people are so wrapped around WHAT he hit that they just assume he is some crazy vandal. Nothing and and i mean nothing point to this being a intentional act. The only thing intentional was him getting behind the wheel intoxicated (most likely)and him fleeing the schene. You people are nutty and way to quick to chop off heads. Join the rest of us in the year 2014 and use your head before you speak( or type). And by the way im no liberal deffending anybody. Vet myself and it does sickenin me that this monument was damaged but come on people…..Anti military Vandal????

  4. erin whin

    No what’s funny is the fact the people are so wrapped around WHAT he hit that they just assume he is some crazy vandal. Nothing and and i mean nothing point to this being a intentional act. The only thing intentional was him getting behind the wheel intoxicated (most likely)and him fleeing the scene. You people are nutty and way to quick to chop off heads. Join the rest of us in the year 2014 and use your head before you speak( or type). And by the way I’m no liberal defending anybody. Vet myself and it does sicken me that this monument was damaged. but come on people…..Anti military Vandal???? Doubt it. Just another drunk driver.

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