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July 10, 2013

Police say tagger caused thousands of dollars in damages

HAVERHILL — Police allege a 16-year-old boy caused thousands of dollars in damages to property he tagged with the letters "KOSK" in blue spray paint. Police said the defaced property included a sign in front of the Sign Center on Orchard Street, a sign for parking at the downtown train station and U.S. postal trucks parked behind the post office in Washington Square.

When investigators executed a search warrant at a home on Claremont Avenue they found cans of blue spray paint, drawings of the letters "KOSK" as well as stolen license plates and street signs.

Police Deputy Chief Donald Thompson said the large number of tagging incidents since the Fourth of July triggered an investigation leading to yesterday's arrest. Additional arrests are possible.

Police are not releasing the name of the boy as he is a juvenile and said he will face charges in Lawrence Juvenile Court.

"It certainly was an increase in tagging so it led us to believe there were one or more individuals; probably going out at night and spraying in the cover of darkness," Thompson said.

The boy was arrested on 14 counts of malicious damaging of property and four counts of receiving stolen property - stolen license plates and city street signs, police said.

Police spokesman Detective Lt. Robert Pistone said the search warrant was the result of an investigation over the past week concerning a rash of graffiti tagging throughout the city, including at the public library, on U.S. Postal trucks, billboards, at the Haverhill MBTA station and numerous private businesses.

"The majority of citizens and business owners of Haverhill work hard to maintain their property and do not deserve to have their property vandalized by senseless acts of graffiti that costs the property owners thousands of dollars in damage in some of these cases," Pistone said.

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