ANDERSON – Claudette Bettencourt said she is impressed by the Anderson Police Department for addressing recent acts of vandalism to the downtown area and quickly identifying two suspects in the crimes.
“Most police departments that I have been experienced with, in the past, would not have made this type of effort to assist the local merchants,” she said.
Anderson Police Department Detective Joel Sandefur said charges are pending against two people for the rash of graffiti tagged in the downtown area.
He said the “dolphin-ghost” and “DK” graffiti have been identified, but declined to provide the names of the suspects.
“While both offenders are adults, one committed the offense while being under age and will subsequently receive juvenile treatment when eventually charged,” Sandefur said in a press release. “The other offender will be charged as an adult. Paperwork on both cases is being submitted to the Madison County prosecutor's office for filing consideration."
Sandefur said other incidents of tagging are in the process of being identified before the case can be finalized.
Bettencourt thanked the police department and officials responsible for identifying the artists responsible saying she was pleased they had been caught after a brief three-month investigation. She said at least one of them even admitted why he committed the crimes.
“He is enrolling in art school next semester and has no past record,” she said.
During the third Historic Downtown Anderson Merchants meeting, Police Chief Larry Crenshaw told the local business owners he believes being proactive will help eliminate future acts of graffiti.
He said graffiti should be immediately removed and that restorative justice should be practiced.
“The offender must take responsibility for his action, which includes making reparations to his victims,” Crenshaw said. “Having the offender go back and remove the graffiti is part of that restorative process.”