Nanaimo RCMP is saying officers “caught a break” when three adult taggers were discovered in the act of spray painting public property.
In a report issued on Friday, RCMP says officers were tipped off by a witness who reported seeing the three men spray painting various apparatuses throughout a local park.
The taggers were caught at approximately 9 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15, in Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo.
The report suggests that when officers arrived on the scene, the taggers tried to leave, however, police acted quickly and were able to locate the three men immediately, arresting them all for Mischief.
After the taggers had been arrested, police returned to the park and found several fresh tags done in green paint on multiple objects, including garbage cans, signs, utility boxes and other park amenities.
“The paint found, coincidentally, matched the green paint on the hands and clothing of all three suspects,” reads a statement from Nanaimo RCMP.
During the arrest of the three taggers – whose ages ranged from 32 to 36 – police seized nine spray cans, numerous black markers and dozens of spray nozzles of various sizes.
Police say the taggers have been released unconditionally from custody as an investigation continues.
“The officers are consulting with city officials before laying charges to determine the actual cost to remove the paint and restore the property to its original state,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
In the report, police noted that graffiti tags on public and private property cost thousands of dollars and many hours to remove. Nanaimo RCMP is urging the public to report any graffiti tags that appear in their neighbourhoods to the City of Nanaimo Bylaws at 250-755-4422.
The City of Nanaimo can provide direction on the clean-up of graffiti and offer free graffiti wipes to assist with clean-ups on private property.