EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB) — Police in East Longmeadow had a busy morning dealing with vandalism at two of the towns schools.
Tagging is not a prevalent crime in East Longmeadow, but this morning the principal of Mountain View School called the police with a report of vandalism.
“What we found at the school was that there was a stenciled painting of a penguin with the word bow-tie underneath it and another stencil of what appears to be a raccoon’s face,” said Sergeant Denis Sheehan.
The penguin was identified as a character from a video game called Sly Cooper, but to the police, that’s not what made this case so unusual.
“That it’s a school and that it’s a lot, the volume of the painting they spent quite a bit of time at the school to do this because it’s almost on every corner,” explained Sheehan.
Luckily, the schools in East Longmeadow are equipped with cameras, those cameras are property of the town. Those tapes helped police identify a suspect with the help of administrators in the East Longmeadow school system.
“We’ve developed a suspect using the video tape at the school since then we’ve interviewed that suspect and three other persons have been identified and we will be in the process of calling them in and interview them also,” said Sheehan.
While the images may be cartoon-like in nature, the repercussions are not.
If charged with felony vandalism, the suspects could face time in state prison.
Most likely the suspects will face restitution, but they could also be charged with a tagging misdemeanor, which would carry a fine of up to three times the amount of damages, as well as a suspension of drivers license.
In order to be charged with a felony, the suspects would have to prove to have had willful and malicious intent.
According to Sergeant Sheehan, the department has spoken with all four suspects. They are all young men from East Longmeadow in their late teens. All of them are being treated as adults.
The initial estimate to remove the graffiti is approximately $2,000.