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Youths Nabbed In Independence Graffiti Case

INDEPENDENCE -- Police arrested two 12-year-old boys on Aug. 26 for 14 incidents of graffiti that took place during a three-hour span.

INDEPENDENCE -- Police arrested two 12-year-old boys on Aug. 26 for 14 incidents of graffiti that took place during a three-hour span.

Most of the vandalism occurred in the southeast corner of the city. Targets included fences, cars, houses and the back of a bread delivery truck behind Roth's IGA.

Independence Police Chief Vern Wells said the two were caught after another group of kids witnessed the taggings and gave descriptions to authorities.

Damages were "in the thousands (of dollars)," Wells said, adding that the suspects said they got the idea for their vandalism spree from the plot of a video game they were playing.

The boys were referred to Polk County Juvenile Department.

Independence has seen a dramatic rise in graffiti during the past couple of years, with 46 reported incidents in 2006, 103 in 2007 and 169 as of July this year, much of it gang-related.

Residents whose property may have been vandalized on Aug. 26 are encouraged to report it to the Independence Police Department: 503-838-1214.

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