Central Michigan University police are reporting two new incidents of graffiti on campus. Mount Pleasant is experiencing an increase in graffiti cases, and the appearance of two more tags on campus are an addition to the string of similar acts of malicious destruction of property.
CMUPD Captain Fred Harris said the incidents took place on May 10 and May 14 in Parking Lots 1 and 22, respectively. The Lot 1 graffiti was found on the door of CMU’s surplus sale building, whereas the other graffiti tag was found on a light post in Lot 22.
Harris said it is too early to tell if these acts of vandalism are connected to at least a dozen graffiti complaints throughout Mount Pleasant that totaled more than $1,000 in damages.
Jeff Thompson, public information officer for the Mount Pleasant Police Department, said the MMPD will be working with CMU police to investigate the cases.
Thompson said it is likely that this incident is related to the graffiti complaints in Mount Pleasant, however that determination cannot be made until a suspect is in custody.
While the two pieces of graffiti are dissimilar in style, the incidents in Mount Pleasant appear to involve to same person or persons, police said, due to the colors used, proximity and design of the graffiti. Thompson said that there is no indication in the symbolism of the graffiti these are the actions of a gang.
“The courts have ruled that a gang, in essence, is a group of people who are engaged in criminal activity and claim a territory in symbolism,” Thompson said. “So whether this is a specific gang like the public would like to believe in there’s no indication that that is true. Obviously if it is two or more people engaging in vandalism it is legally a gang but not the public’s perception of what a gang is.”
Harris said that the collaboration between departments will help both units ascertain whether or not the tags were created by the same suspect.
“The detectives are sharing information on incidents, the times of day, possible suspects and are looking at the taggings specifically to see if there are similarities,” he said.
Officials from both departments said any restorations of CMU property damaged by the spray paint will be handled by the university’s Facilities Management department.
Check back with cm-life.com for more information from MPPD and Facilities Management.