Teens arrested in vandalism spree
Two 14-year-old Quincy boys with an alleged affinity for gang graffiti are facing felony charges after being arrested last week in connection with some 40 acts of vandalism.
One of the boys was allegedly caught on video tagging gang graffiti at the high school, said Officer Alex Bushy of the Quincy Police Department. The second suspect was arrested later, Bushy said.
The boys are charged with second-degree malicious mischief, a Class C felony. They also are expected to be charged with stealing spray paint from the AutoZone in Quincy, Bushy said.
The boys were arrested on Thursday; however, another two teenage boys also are suspected to have been involved, said Bushy, who also is a school resource officer. Charges may be coming for the other two suspects, he said.
Quincy High School has been especially hit hard with gang-related graffiti these past two weeks. The track shed, outside bleachers and a sidewalk in front of the school all have been tagged, resulting in about $750 in damages, Bushy said. Officers also found graffiti on homes throughout a mobile home park near the high school.
To combat the vandalism, the department this past year has put together a folder with photos of gang graffiti found tagged around town, Bushy said. Using the folder, officers have been able to tie the four suspects to a number of graffiti cases, he said. In fact, the four suspects may be accountable for up to 85 percent of the damages, he said.
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Quincy City Council approved the spending of nearly $8,100 on security cameras for Lauzier Park. The cameras are being added to the park to cut down on graffiti, vandalism and other crimes.
The multi-camera, portable security system will include four cameras. It also will include a central monitoring software system and remote control so city employees and police officers will be able to monitor the park. And, because the system is portable, if another city facility is having problems, the system can be moved to another location.
Bushy suspects the arrest of the two juveniles will have an immediate impact on the community. “I think we’re going to see a pretty big drop (in graffiti),” he said.
In an unrelated case, another two juveniles were identified last week for ransacking the press box at the high school football field, Bushy said. The culprits broke out all the windows and destroyed the furniture in the press box, he said.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, firstname.lastname@example.org