Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More charges filed in graffiti case

3 more suspects charged with misdemeanors

Express Staff Writer

A police task force is cracking down on graffiti in the Wood River Valley. Nine teenagers have been charged with misdemeanors for allegedly scrawling works such as this one on Fourth Street in Ketchum. Photo by Willy Cook

Three more juveniles were charged Monday with misdemeanor crimes for allegedly writing graffiti on walls and other structures throughout the Wood River Valley.

The new charges bring to nine the number of teenagers accused of graffiti crimes. Only one is legally an adult, identified by a police task force as 18-year-old Cary Reinemann of Sun Valley.

According to court records, Reinemann was charged with the crime of "vandalize, deface or damage the property of another by graffiti," punishable in Idaho by up to a year in jail. Arraignment for Reinemann is scheduled for Sept. 14 in Blaine County Magistrate Court.

The task force, comprised of officers from the Ketchum, Sun Valley and Hailey police departments, has not released the names of the juveniles.

The case remains under investigation. Sun Valley Assistant Police Chief Mike Crawford said Tuesday that at least two more suspects are likely to be charged with crimes.

Crawford said some suspects may later be charged with "felony malicious injury to property," a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, if damage exceeds $1,000.

The task force is still trying to determine a damage estimate and is still finding new instances of graffiti. Crawford said the task force estimates there are 75 to 100 locations, including buildings, trash containers, portable lavatories, street signs and bridges, where graffiti was written.

"The north valley had probably the majority of incidents." Crawford said. "A lot of it has now been cleaned up."

Crawford said the graffiti crackdown seems to be appreciated by the public.

"We've received positive comments from the public," he said. "It's something the public doesn't want to see and it's best to nip it in the bud before

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