Graffiti spree not work of a crew

By: Roger Phelps, The Telegraph
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At first law enforcement suspected some sort of organized activity behind the recent rash of graffiti that left its mark across Folsom, but now they have ruled out that suspicion. A tagging crew is a club-like organization bent on spreading a single message, name or logo via acts of spray-painting -- a collective effort instead of an individual one at “getting up” a particular message. In late January, Folsom Police officers arrested a Folsom boy, 14, at his home on on suspicion of felony vandalism. Between mid-December and the arrest date, a single icon-like painted message turned up on more than two dozen buildings and cars over a wide swath of Folsom, from the historic district to southeast along East Bidwell Street, police said. Tagging crews in Los Angeles, for example, are notorious for combining to get up a single tag. They are not characterized as gangs. Folsom police investigators found themselves possibly facing a homegrown version of the same scenario with the arrest of the Folsom boy. “At that time, we had information he was potentially a member of a tagging crew,” said Sgt. Eric Heichlinger. “He kind of thinks he is, but I didn’t see anything to suggest an organized effort. Other detectives don’t see it, either.”