May 11, 1998

Local News

Police believe they have local tagger

  by Woodinville Weekly staff



   WOODINVILLE-A 17-year-old Woodinville boy will be charged with malicious mischief and vandalism for a string of "taggings" police believe he committed in this area, Det. Pat Raftis of the King County Sheriff's Office said last week. Raftis said the suspect is responsible for taggings that occurred at Woodinville Water District, Woodinville Library and local citizens' property.
  
   Taggings are marks on fences, alleys or building walls usually done with spray paint that are unique to an individual. While some gang-related tagging is oriented towards violence, in this case the suspect may have been after notoriety. He may be responsible for 10 separate incidents.
  
   Raftis said some taggers hit landmarks in the public eye such as fences, boxcars and overpasses that others can see. "The more daring ones they can do, the better for them. But unfortunately, they don't think about the property damage," Raftis said. Investigative leads led police to the suspect who is described as a school dropout. "We're going to file charges against him but first we need to figure out a dollar estimate for the damages," Raftis said. He anticipates sending the case to King County juvenile prosecutors this month for criminal charges.
  
   Authorities advise anyone whose property has been tagged to report the incidents. Victims should photograph markings and keep track of their costs in case anyone is found responsible for the graffiti and is brought to trial as happened in this case.
   Police also say to wash marks away or paint over them as soon as possible.