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Kelowna RCMP looking for prolific graffiti tagging suspects

RCMP are looking for the public's help in locating three prolific taggers responsible  for hundreds of graffiti tags around Kelowna.
RCMP are looking for the public's help in locating three prolific taggers responsible for hundreds of graffiti tags around Kelowna. RCMP

Kelowna RCMP are hoping the public can help identify three men believed to be responsible for hundreds of graffiti-spraying vandalism incidents in the city over the last few months.

Police say the suspects go by the names of “AWKWRD,” “SOJA” and “SOCIAL”.

Read more: New public washrooms tagged with graffiti; Kelowna RCMP investigating

According to RCMP, AWKWRD has been linked to roughly 300 tags to various structures throughout the Kelowna area.

RCMP are hoping to locate this graffiti tagging suspect, who goes by the name of AWKWRD. RCMP

RCMP said SOJA has been active in the downtown core, with more than 300 incidents over the summer, while SOCIAL has tagged numerous public and private properties throughout Kelowna.

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This suspect, who goes by the name of SOJA, is believed to be connected to more than 300 graffiti incidents this past summer alone. RCMP
Police say SOCIAL is a suspect linked to graffiti vandalism on both private and public property. RCMP

Read more: Police investigating ‘hate-motivated vandalism’ involving Okanagan home

These types of crimes are often discounted by the public as nuisance issues, said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy. But the reality is this isn’t a victimless crime. Vandalism such as this takes away from the beauty of our city, and it encourages other criminal behaviour.

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According to the City of Kelowna, every year taggers cost the community more than $400,000 to paint over or remove graffiti on public property and more than $350,000 on private property.

The city said this year has been the busiest ever with staff cleaning more than 1,500 locations in August and September alone.

Residents are encouraged to help keep the city clean of graffiti vandalism by reporting, recording and removing it as soon as they see it.

Click here to report the exact location and even include a photo or leave a detailed message on the city hotline at 250-469-8600 (option 6).

The city, in partnership with Crime Stoppers, is offering a $500 reward for tips that lead to an arrest for graffiti vandalism.

Anyone with any information about the above-mentioned graffiti suspects can contact the Kelowna RCMP or Crime Stoppers.

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