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Sheriff Seeks Public Help In Catching “Paint Bandits,” But Discounts Race or Gang Motive

| August 30, 2017

The garage door at 140 Eric Drive, one of three garage doors vandalized this week. (FCSO)

The garage door at 140 Eric Drive, one of three garage doors vandalized this week. (FCSO)

For at least the third time this month, what appears to be the same graffiti-armed, grammar-challenged and racially-confused vandals have left their inelegant spray on more garage doors, this time in Palm Coast’s E Section.

Previous discharges took place mostly in the F Section last week, and at the beginning of the month on properties along Rolling Sands Drive.

In every case, the markings have approximated a few words barely resembling English, symbols that in earlier spates detectives found comparable to gang signs on the internet, and incoherent markings that looked like hurried, spasmodic bursts of nothing in particular: artful, daring or even suggestive graffiti they are not. But they are criminal violations of private property. They are costing targeted residents money to paint over, and discomfort. In several cases, the markings have suggested racist messages, though there’s been no connection between message and intended recipients. The randomness seems to belie whatever racial motive may be intended. Remarkably, no surveillance video has yet caught the perpetrators.

One relatively sure indication is that they are the work of the same individual or group of individuals: the consistency of the arrested-development-like stylelessness is recognizable.

So the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office issued another release today urging residents to help nab the vandals. Detectives, according to the release, are asking residents to call law enforcement if they see anything that may be related to these crimes. They are also sending a reminder to businesses that minors are prohibited by law from buying aerosol spray paint until they’re 18 or older.

Deputies have increased patrols in residential areas to hinder the vandals. “If you see something, say something,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “That will be the best way for us to identify who is doing this and put a stop to it.”

The latest spraying was in a relatively compact zone of the E-Section. The spraying took place overnight between Monday and Tuesday.

At 34 Edith Pope Drive, vandals spray-painted “Stay Wite” in black letters on the garage door, and “God is Black,” also in black paint, along with an unrecognizable shape in black and blue lines around it. (The occupant of the house happens to be white.) At 155 Eric Drive, some sort of black symbol, “three blue Ks,” as a sheriff’s incident report, reluctant to declare it an outright KKK slur, described it, and a red unknown figure.

At 140 Eric Drive, all had been normal when the homeowner had walked his dog at 10:30 the previous evening. By morning, the garage door had crude markings of something like “Weed IS Go” in blue, “stay wite” in black, and some black symbols. None of the residents at 141, 142, and 143 Eric Drive reported seeing any suspicious activity that night. The resident of 143 Eric Drive has external security cameras, but they’re aimed at his own property and part of the road in front of it.

If anyone has any information about these cases or information on any crime in Flagler County, they may contact the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at (386) 313-4911. Callers can also remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 by calling Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).

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4 Responses for “Sheriff Seeks Public Help In Catching “Paint Bandits,” But Discounts Race or Gang Motive”

  1. A Person who is concerned says:

    If the meaning is racist why is the sheriff’s office discounting race. who are they protecting the people or the racist.

  2. Ray says:

    To clear the air here. The people doing the graffiti are actually a group of wannabe tough guys who are actually black. The R with tge crown and $ symbol is their sign. They are mainly based of Bunnell with a few followers in the R P and F sections. So George please get the facts straight. Palm coast is actually a very safe place compared to many other areas. The 3 murders we had were all isolated domestic cases. Home invasions are not random, they are at houses conducting illegal activities in the 1st place. Look at Tampa Jax Daytona. The crime is outrageous. We are all Americans and this Blm/ WP is nonsense. All lives matter. Why is it most peoples 1st reaction is oh im moving, how about stand your ground, get involved in community watch, volunteer for Citizens on Patrol, help our men in blue, as a retired Navy Seal I couldnt be happier with our President and our Sheriff. You can talk all you want but the bottom line is these guys care about America, and our county. Its about time we have elected officials who put our safety 1st, instead of this politically correct crap that too many people are accustomed too.

  3. another vet says:

    just some immature a…holes with no respect for others property, hope they don’t run into someone with a stand your ground mentality

  4. can'tfoolme says:

    @ Ray – if you know this information as a fact you should be informing the FCS…a lot of people would be relieved to have the wanna-be-toughies off the job and you can take or donate the reward monies.

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