Vandalism spree in downtown Fort Collins picture of suspect on camera. See picture of suspect.
Fort Collins police are searching for the vandal who, early Sunday morning, tagged a string of businesses near College Avenue and Drake Road with graffiti.
Security cameras outside the Joint Smoke Shop, 2427 S. College Ave., captured a young, white male, believed to be the suspect, about 5:30 a.m., a couple hours before the widespread damage at the small strip center was found and reported.
Police said the graffiti, tagged in red spray paint, appears to say “Perk OSL” or “OSL.” It is unclear at this time whether this tag has been seen in town before Sunday, police said.
Joint Smoke Shop employee Doug Ware said the front door and an electric box outside of the store were tagged; this went unnoticed until he arrived for his shift at 9:30 a.m. He estimated the damage spans nearly two miles down the street; although, as of Sunday evening, police were unable to confirm the extent of the vandalism or how many businesses were affected.
Police spokesman Officer Matt Johnson said he visited Big 5 Sporting Goods on 2211 S. College Ave. Sunday morning and observed “several tags up and down the front of that business center.”
The owners and staff members of vandalized businesses are “shocked” and “very angry,” Ware said.
“This is a pretty smooth part of town,” Ware said, adding he does not recognize the graffiti tag. “We don’t have much trouble out here. It’s always active.”
Next door, Mountain Mist Spa’s van was hit with a giant tag, which employee Kerry Kettelkamp discovered about noon. Instead of attempting to wash it off, Kettelkamp said the business has decided to purchase an entirely new wrap for what he called its “show van,” which he calculated will cost the spa a couple thousand dollars.
Kettelkamp said he walked around the area early Sunday afternoon to survey the damage, which he said starts at the Kmart on Drake and “covers” the strip mall where the spa and Joint Smoke Shop are located. He said he had never seen the tag before, either.
“Anywhere he could put it,” Kettelkamp said, “he put it.”
Those with information are asked to call lead investigator Officer Andy Ferraro at 970-221-6555. Call Crime stoppers at 970-221-6868 to leave a tip…we pay for tips that lead to an arrest.
Breaking news and transit reporter Katie de la Rosa may be reached on Twitter at @katieoftherose or by phone at 970-224-7795.
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