Sanford police have identified four teenagers they say are responsible for at least nine incidents of vandalism in west Sanford, according to a press release issued Tuesday.
Because of their age – the teenagers are 14, 15 and 16 – police did not disclose their identities or any other identifying information other than age, saying only that they believed them responsible for the incidents which occurred late Saturday and early Sunday.
According to the police department’s p2c software, there were nine incidents that involved spray paint on houses and vehicles reported Sunday in neighborhoods immediately surrounding St. Luke United Methodist Church – on Wicker Street, Westover Drive, North Currie Drive, Arlington Circle, Chariot Drive, Chippendale Trail, and McLeod Drive.
Social media traffic showed several incidents involving property having the phrase “BLM” – short for Black Lives Matter – and other phrases and images that were vulgar in nature spray painted on vehicles and homes. Detective Brad Upchurch of the Sanford Police Department declined to describe the nature of the vandalism and declined to say whether those were the same incidents, but they appear to match those listed in the press release. There were no other incidents of vandalism reported in west Sanford on Sunday.
In at least one case, the graffiti was still visible as of Tuesday afternoon.
Upchurch did said he didn’t believe the acts were motivated by any ideological or political cause.
“We think it was more like just kids going out and doing what kids do when they’re inclined to do something wrong,” he said. “I don’t think it was motivated by anything other than that.”
Due to the age of the suspects, their cases were referred to the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Police said anyone with additional information about the incidents should contact the department at (919) 777-1051.