Kent police have arrested eight people suspected of scrawling graffiti on the State Route 167 underpass at the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad tracks, the police department reported today.
Seven of the suspects had spray paint on their hands and were charged with malicious mischief. All eight were charged with criminal trespass because police allege they were tagging and walking along the railroad tracks. Kent police believe one of those arrested is a prolific tagger in the city.
Bicycle officers were on routine patrol Sunday along the railroad tracks when they saw a group of eight people spray painting graffiti on the walls.
Officers rode up and the taggers fled, police reported. Four of them stopped a short time later. The other four continued to walk to the shoulder of SR 167, police reported.
Officers in patrol cars responded to the scene and arrested the other four.
Officers took 36 cans of spray paint and several plastic bags full of nozzles as evidence, the department reported. One of the suspects had a receipt for the paint, which was purchased earlier in the day at a store on Kent’s East Hill.
A group of volunteers will paint over the graffiti, officers report.
The police department encourages businesses to monitor large purchases of spray paint and residents to call 911 if they see tagging in progress or other suspicious activity. Older graffiti can be reported to the department’s 24-hour graffiti hotline – 253-856-GRAF (253-856-4723).