Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying persons responsible for a spike in graffiti in Hilo.

Between May 1 and June 16, police received 10 reports of graffiti in Hilo. This compares with three reports in March and two in April. Numerous other incidents went unreported.

With school out for the summer, police ask parents to be aware of their children’s whereabouts and activities. They are also urged to be alert for the following signs of possible graffiti involvement:

Graffiti on papers, books, walls, clothing, or other objects.
Unusual amounts of spray paint cans or marker pens.
Photographs of graffiti.
Accessories such as backpacks with a strong odor of paint, containers with an assortment of spray paint tips, etc.
Police ask that the public report any suspicious activity. Victims of graffiti property damage should report the damage to police for documentation and then have the graffiti removed as soon as possible. Removal of the graffiti removes the “glory” the taggers desire.

Graffiti is classified as criminal property damage, which, for adults, is petty misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail. The parents of juveniles found responsible for graffiti could be held liable for monetary damages.

Police ask anyone with information about the persons responsible for graffiti in the Hilo area to contact Community Policing Officer Gavin Kagimoto at 961-8121 or [email protected]

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.S