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Milton police look into graffiti

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NEIL W. JOHNSON
March 16, 2010
— An investigation into a weekend spree of graffiti vandalism in Milton continues to turn up damage to public and private property, police said Monday.

Police continue to focus on reports of spray-painted graffiti at several locations in the "middle third of the city," with damage spanning from Milton High School to City Hall, Milton Police Lt. John Conger said.


An investigation into the vandalism led to the arrest Sunday of two 15-year-old Milton males. The teens were referred to juvenile authorities on charges of felony criminal damage to property. Police have made no other arrests related to the vandalism.


A full police report was not available Monday.


A patrol officer first discovered graffiti at 1 a.m. Sunday at the CESA 2 building at 448 E. High Street, police said. Reports of graffiti in Milton continued to trickle in Monday. Police are trying to learn whether all of the incidents are linked.


According to police department reports, sites hit this weekend by graffiti vandals were:


-- MECAS School, 35 Plumb St.


-- Pak Fresh, 245 E. Madison Ave.


-- CESA 2 offices, 448 E. High St.


-- Schilberg Park pavilion, 301 W. High St.


-- Central Park.


-- Homes, vehicles and traffic signs on Davis and Plum streets.


-- A school-owned van at Milton School District central office, 430 E. High St.


"This is the largest scale (graffiti) event I can remember here," Conger said Monday.


Conger characterized the vandalism as "a lot of obscenities" and "meager attempts at gang symbols."


"A lot of times kids this age will try to emulate gang graffiti," Conger said. "We certainly have no reason to believe there's gang-related activity in Milton."


An exact dollar amount for damages was not available, but Conger said the graffiti is extensive at some of the sites. Cleanup could cost several thousand dollars, he said.


CESA 2 Financial Services Director Bill Barrow said graffiti covered glass, metal and brick on the north and west sides of the CESA 2 building. He said CESA 2 has contacted the building's owner about the damages.


"They (vandals) marked us up pretty good. They'll probably have to sand blast it or high-pressure wash it to get it off," Barrow said.


He said the graffiti appears amateurish and is rife with gang symbols, profanity and misspellings.


Conger said the Schilberg Park pavilion, located on Milton School District property, was heavily sprayed.


"They basically did the entire building all around. The whole building will probably have to be repainted," Conger said.


Milton High School Principal Jeremy Bilhorn on Monday said school maintenance crews were planning cleanup at the pavilion.


Conger said business owners or residents should contact the police department if they find graffiti at their address.


"There is a high price tag attached to this kind of vandalism, and there's a quality of life part of it. People don't like to see their community covered in spray paint and graffiti," Conger said.



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