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Regional Gang Unit makes graffiti arrests



1300123_fff2-7702063-8017309Over the past week, officers from the Regional Gang Unit conducted a graffiti investigation involving two prolific taggers. There had been a large amount of graffiti in Washoe County related to these two suspects. The incidents had occurred over the past year but recently became more prevalent.

The investigation found that two juvenile suspects had stolen over $400 in spray paint from a retail store in Reno. RGU officers were able to link over 106 cases of documented graffiti within the last year, all occurring within Washoe County. One 17-year-old was arrested for felony graffiti for 96 separate cases, totaling approximately $11,718.72 in damages. The second 17-year-old juvenile was arrested for gross misdemeanor graffiti involving 10 separate cases, totaling approximately &1,220.70 in damages.

The damage amounts are a result of the cost for cleanup and removal of the graffiti. In addition, one of the juveniles was charged with the original theft of the spray paint from the Reno retail store. During the arrest, over 2,000 items of evidence were recovered and confiscated related to the crimes. Arresting both of these problematic taggers will result in a large decrease in graffiti in our area.

The Regional Gang Unit works closely with both the juvenile and adult court systems to ensure prosecution occurs with these types of crimes. Graffiti is an eyesore to the community and has a negative impact on business, tourism, community appearance and other quality of life issues. Those found guilty of graffiti can potentially face jail and/or prison sentences as well as assignment of restitution for damages caused by their actions. This has been the case over the last year with numerous graffiti arrests made by the Regional Gang Unit.

Citizens are encouraged to report graffiti by contacting the law enforcement agency within their jurisdiction for immediate removal. They can also contact Secret Witness if they have any information on suspects involved in graffiti.

The Regional Gang Unit comprises officers from Reno and Sparks Police and school police, and a deputy from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone having any information regarding this crime is encouraged to contact secret witness at 322-4900 or the Regional Gang Unit directly at 334-3852.

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