Arrests Help Combat Town’S Graffiti Problems

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After more than two years of work, Payson Police officers are one step closer to wiping out a graffiti group with another arrest Oct. 18.

Police say the latest juvenile arrested is linked to 16 cases of criminal damage throughout town. Due to the aggregate amount of damages, the juvenile was arrested on charges of felony criminal damage and conspiracy to commit criminal damage, said Payson Police Officer Lorenzo Ortiz.

Ortiz, and fellow Graffiti Abatement Officer Brandon Buckner, have been working on this investigation since 2008.

“Officers Buckner and Ortiz became aware that multiple juveniles had been making a concerted effort to deface property in the Payson area,” said the PPD in a press release. “Ortiz and Buckner made two arrests of juveniles during the investigation last year, closing some 15 cases involving criminal damage in the community.”

On Oct. 18, Buckner and Ortiz arrested another juvenile involved in the group who had also been defacing property.

“The juvenile admitted to much of the damage and officers were able to close 16 cases of criminal damage due to the success of the investigation,” according to the press release.

The investigation remains ongoing, as other members of the graffiti group remain active.

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