Dec 10, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
After one arrest and months of no visible graffiti activity in the village of Cazenovia, someone spray-painted nine new graffiti pieces in the village during the Dec. 6 weekend: three large new pieces in the “Wall Street” alley between Kinney Drugs and Café Latte Da, two on the Lindenfeld Law Firm office at 11 Lincklaen St., one on the side of the U.S. Post Office on Lincklaen Street, one on a U.S. Postal Service mail truck, one on the window of the old gas station next to the defunct Napa building on Albany Street and one on the stop sign at the corner of Center and Albany Streets.
All nine pieces are comprised of words — in the alley one is the word “Reigh” and the other two are phrases that contain vulgar words and sentiments (that will not be published); the phrase on the USPS truck contains one of the same phrases that is in the Wall Street alley; while the words/tags on the gas station window, stop sign, law firm building and USPS building are illegible. They were probably spray-painted sometime between late last Friday night, Dec. 6, and early Saturday morning, Dec. 7, said Cazenovia Police Chief Michael Hayes.
Even though none of the new graffiti contains the skater tags “Loner” or “Naff” that became prevalent in the village last summer, Hayes believes these new incidents are likely the work of the same culprits.
“I said before there were more suspects. We just don’t know who they are at this point,” Hayes said. “I think it’s the same group of people, maybe they’re changing up their tags just to try to throw us off.”
One local business owner, who asked not to be identified, told the Cazenovia Republican they saw two college-age people, one male and one female, both Caucasian, in the Wall Street alley where three of the graffiti pieces occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. Saturday Dec. 7.
Police have no leads that have been shared with the public at this time.
Cazenovia police arrested a 16-year-old Manlius teen in late August after he turned himself in and admitted to one graffiti incident on the Lakeland Park bathhouse. That teen has been arraigned by village court and is currently serving community service to pay restitution on the damage the graffiti caused. He is scheduled to reappear in village court next February, according to village court records.
Hayes said at the time of the August arrest that he believed there were more culprits still at large in the graffiti case and the investigation has remained open. Since the teen’s arrest, there have been no other major graffiti incidents in the village, just a few incidents of the “Loner” tags written relatively small in marker on light posts or other objects. One such tag is on a brown dumpster in the Wall Street alley opposite two of the new graffiti pieces.
“Sooner or later we’re going to get this person,” Hayes said. “His luck won’t last forever. As I always say, criminals have to be lucky every time to get away with it; I only have to be lucky once to catch them.”
Mayor Kurt Wheeler said, “It’s very disappointing that a small number of people in the community clearly don’t respect the property of others or the values we hold a community.”
Hayes said he currently has no plans to add extra patrols in the village by his police officers because he has neither the budget nor the staff to do so. The department is currently short three full-time officers, and, although the process to replace two of those full-timers has begun, candidate interviews will not begin until after the start of 2014, Hayes said.
Both Hayes and Wheeler urge village residents, if they see anything suspicious or have any information regarding the new graffiti incidents, to call the village police immediately, even anonymously, at 655-3276.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.