Spray painting vandalism not likely a hate crime, says Streetsboro lieutenant

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published:

Streetsboro — Racist symbols and other messages were spray painted on several residential properties the morning June 21, according to a news release from the Streetsboro Police Department.

A swastika, references to the Ku Klux Klan and other messages, including one on a recreational vehicle reading “Cook meth much?” were among 25 incidents of spray-painted graffiti reported over the weekend in Streetsboro. Cars, fences, homes, sidewalks and streets were painted between the hours of 3 and 6 a.m. June 21, according to Streetsboro Police Lt. Darin Powers.

All the incidents took place in the neighborhoods south of City Park between Route 14 and Diagonal Road, said Powers.

According to the news release, there were reports of vandalism on Gates Avenue, Summers Avenue, Stoneman Road, Valleybrook Road and Timber Ridge Rail.

Despite the racist references, Powers said the crime doesn’t appear to be a hate crime because there was no discernible rationale connecting the messages and the victims.

“Everything that was painted on houses and everything else was just random,” he said, explaining there didn’t appear to be an effort to target any specific individuals.

Those responsible would likely face vandalism charges, he added.

Although no total estimate of damage is available, Powers said it will clearly exceed the $1,000 threshold which would make it a felony charge rather than a misdemeanor.

“Part of it’s about monetary loss, and part of it’s about whether [the vandalism] impedes your ability to go to work,” he said.

The vandalism is under investigation, but as of press time, there were no suspects, according to police.

Anyone with information about the spray painting is asked to contact the Streetsboro Police Department at 330-626-4976 or crimetips@streetsboropolice.com.

Email: bgaetjens@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9440

Twitter: @thegatewaynews

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