Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Commerce City youth loses expensive game of ‘tag’

A 14-year-old Commerce City boy recently discovered that it doesn’t pay to lose a game of tag to the cops, at least when the ‘tag’ involved is graffiti left on the property of others. Following information gathered in a routine report, and working cooperatively with officers from Trinidad, Colo., members of the Brighton Police Department (BPD) graffiti team were able to identify the youth and connect him to nine recent graffiti cases in Brighton.
When BPD Officer Shane Michalik took a report involving a graffiti tag being seen with increasing frequency around Brighton, the victim mentioned a suspicious vehicle she’d seen in the area just after discovering the graffiti. Michalik collected a vehicle description and license plate number for the car, and passed this information along to officers Robin Wilson and Monce Portillo of the graffiti team. Wilson discovered Trinidad Police Department, in southern Colorado, had dealt with similar cases involving the same graffiti tag. With Wilson coordinating the exchange of information between the two police agencies, Officer Rick Kullerstrand and others reviewed recent cases involving similar graffiti. Finally, with a suspect identified and the list of related cases compiled, Officer Portillo and Officer Wilson contacted him at Weld Central High School with a parent present. He was arrested, charged with nine counts of Application of Graffiti, and released to the custody of his mother.

The boy is scheduled to appear in Brighton Municipal Court on the charges. If he is found guilty of the crimes, his parents may be held responsible for any fines or damages incurred.

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