Vernon neighbourhood target of racist graffiti spree | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon neighbourhood target of racist graffiti spree

One of the vehicles targetted with graffiti.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED: Dawn Tucker
June 08, 2020 - 12:01 PM

Multiple vehicles, as well as a hotel, a school and various private residences were the target of a barrage of racist and offensive graffiti that appeared in Vernon sometime Saturday night.

"The whole neighbourhood got hit," Vernon resident Dawn Tucker told iNFOnews.ca. "This is not simple vandalism, this is thousands of dollars of property damage."

Tucker said the graffiti contained racist and satanic slurs. The graffiti appeared on vehicles and buildings around Highway 97 and 41 and 42 Avenue.

Tucker said she went to help a friend clean their truck, June 7, after the vehicle was discovered in the morning covered in graffiti.

Tucker said she saw up to 12 vehicles that had been spray painted, along with half a dozen buildings, including W.L. Seaton Secondary and the Econo Lodge hotel on 32 Street.

A staff member at the Econo Lodge said they gave their close circuit video footage to the police, but they didn't want to say anything more.

Video footage shared with other media appears to show four teenagers in the area in the early hours of Sunday, June 7, morning.

According to a Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media release, police received a call at around 2:45 a.m. June 7, after a resident in the 4100 block of Alexis Park Drive awoke to the sound of breaking glass. Along with the graffiti, RCMP officers found numerous incidents of vandalism, including rocks thrown at windows. Police patrolled the area but did not find the suspects.

"We have conducted a canvass of the area and were able to locate video surveillance of the possible suspects," Vernon RCMP Corp Tania Finn said in the media release. "In addition, the suspects left behind items at the various scenes and our investigators are working with our Integrated Forensic Identification Section to determine whether the items have any evidentiary value."

Tucker said from what she saw, the graffiti contained plenty of racist words and the numbers 666. Tucker said she had been told other pieces of graffiti contained homophobic slurs.

"This is not something to take lightly," Tucker said.

Tucker said the nature of the graffiti was disconcerting and also pointed to the rainbow crosswalk in Coldstream which was vandalized with paint last year.

The RCMP media release does not say whether the graffiti will be considered a hate crime.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Vernon RCMP Const. Paul Cooke at 250-260-7149, or remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave a tip online at www.nokscrimestoppers.com.

UPDATE: This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. Monday, June 8, 2020 to include information from the RCMP.


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