ELLSWORTH, Maine — Four teenage boys will face criminal mischief charges in connection with three separate “tagging” incidents over the last several months that resulted in thousands of dollars in damage to two local businesses.
Tagging is the term the youngsters used for spray-painting graffiti, according to Detective Dottie Small of the Ellsworth Police Department. Small said the three 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old, all from the Lamoine area, used spray paint to make their signature designs on tractor trailer bodies and the back of a store in Ellsworth. The boys used their tagging names — “Slick,” “Douche” and “Capo,” Small said.
The 14-year-old had just started doing graffiti and was involved in only one incident, Small said. He had not developed a signature tag name yet.
Because of their ages, the boys’ names have not been released. Small said all four have confessed to the crimes. They have been issued summonses charging them with criminal mischief.
In October, the boys allegedly spray-painted several tractor trailer bodies at the Thurston Haslam yard off Route 3. They then hit the F.W. Webb building on Buttermilk Road, spray-painting graffiti on the back wall of the building. In the latest incident, Feb. 26, they returned to the Haslam property and tagged several more tractor trailer bodies.
“This graffiti is seven to eight feet tall,” Small said. “But it takes them about five minutes to do it.”
Small said all four boys are artistic and have been involved in art projects at school.
“It’s just their thing, but they stepped over the line when they did it on private property,” she said.
According to Small, F.W. Webb has received an estimate of $1,000 to power wash the rear of the building. Haslam’s has not yet gotten an estimate on the cost to clean the tractor trailer bodies, but Small said it could run into the thousands of dollars.