Nanaimo RCMP say they caught three men spray-painting graffiti on items in Maffeo Sutton Park.
The men, who range in age from 32 to 36, were nabbed about 9 p.m. Monday after a witness reported them to police. Police said the men tried to leave when officers arrived but were quickly located and arrested for mischief.
Officers found several utility boxes and garbage cans freshly marked with green paint — paint that matched remnants on the hands and clothes of the suspects. Nine spray cans, numerous black markers and dozens of spray nozzles were seized.
The men were released and the investigation continues.
“The officers are consulting with city officials before laying charges to determine the actual cost to remove the paint and restore the property to its original state,” said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien.
Police said graffiti on public and private property in Nanaimo does thousands of dollars in damage each year and takes hours to remove. In some cases, items are permanently damaged and have to be replaced.
Nanaimo’s bylaw department at 250-755-4422 can be contacted by anyone who sees graffiti, and can provide free wipes to help with cleaning up private property.