EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 25, 2013

Police to charge second teen with graffiti tagging spree

Boy is friend of teenager charged with similar crime

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — Police plan to bring charges of graffiti tagging against a second teenage boy who they said spray painted the letters “ANUR” in more than 40 places.

They said the 17-year-old boy is the friend of a 16-year-old boy they charged two weeks ago with spraying the letters “KOSH” on more than 30 properties and causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The boys used different colors of paint, police said. The 16-year-old used blue paint while the 17-year-old used black, gray, white and yellow, police said.

Police said that most of the “ANUR” graffiti tagging was on commercial buildings on Hale and Stevens streets, the flood wall behind Newman’s furniture on Merrimack Street, the rear of Newman’s Furniture, the rear of the Woolworth building, at both commuter rail stations, and on MBTA property along the train tracks.

The side of a van that was parked in the Merrimack Street parking garage on or around June 22 was also spray painted with the “ANUR” tag, police said. They are asking that the owner of the van as well as any other property owners who were victimized with this graffiti tag contact Detective Sean Scharneck at 978-373-1212, ext. 1238.

“It looks like they did a lot together around July 4 and they appear to be friends,” police Lt. Robert Pistone said about the two boys who are charged.

Pistone said detectives are trying to identify additional victims and have compiled a list of 43 counts of malicious damage to property they plan to bring against the 17-year-old boy. Pistone said the “KOSH” and “ANUR” tags began appearing at the end of June.

Police said an investigation into the graffiti tagging led to the arrest of the 16-year-old boy on July 9. Police charged him with 14 counts of malicious damage to property, as well as four counts of receiving stolen property — stolen license plates and city street signs. A week later, police charged the boy with an additional 18 counts of malicious damage to property. Police have not released the name of the boy or the results of a hearing he was scheduled to attend in Lawrence Juvenile Court.

Police said the “KOSK” tag was discovered outside the public library, on U.S. Postal trucks downtown, on billboards, at the downtown train station and on several businesses. Investigators executed a search warrant at a home on Claremont Avenue. There, they said they found cans of blue spray paint, drawings of the letters “KOSK,’’ and stolen license plates and street signs.

Pistone said the crime of defacing property is punishable by a state prison term of up to three years, a jail term of up to two years, and/or a fine of $1,500 or three times the value of the property defaced or destroyed, whichever is greater. He said the punishment can also include a driver’s license suspension of one year. If the convicted person is not licensed, one year would be added to the age of driving eligibility of that person, he said. In addition, offenders must either pay to repair the damage or perform the labor themselves, he said.