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Police looking for more vandals in downtown Columbia

Police are searching for more suspects responsible for a string of vandalism in downtown Columbia.

Last week, police arrested Nicholas Clayborn, 25, and Henry Crossland, 19, for spray-paining multiple buildings.

According to police, there have been more than 30 new spots of graffiti showing up in the downtown district since Feb. 25. And more than 10 police reports have been made.

Police said the recent graffiti is made up of four different titles or symbols. And police said they believe Clayborn and Crossland were responsible for two of the symbols. But they are still looking for whoever is responsible for the rest.

D&M Sound near Locust and Eighth Street is one of the businesses that has been vandalized in the last week. On the side of the building you can see the word “BREW” painted in pink cursive on top of the word “KREP” in big bubble letters. The other two symbols police have found downtown are “YINI” and “GRUB”.

Anne Moore, the owner of D&M Sound said she does not take it lightly. And cleaning up the graffiti will cost hundreds of dollars.

“It’s property defacement,” Moore said. “And it’s going to cost us quite a bit of money actually to have it cleaned and then repainted and then sealed again. So it is not a minor problem. It can be very expensive. And with an old building like ours, it has to be done very carefully in order not to cause further damage in the cleaning process and repainting process.”

The Columbia Police Department said officers are trying to figure out what the words or acronyms might stand for. They do not believe it is gang related, but may be an artistic competition.

CPD said since Feb. 25, they have found the new graffiti behind the businesses in the 900 block of East Broadway, on Seventh Street, Eighth Street, Locust Street and more.

Police said the graffiti does not just affect the vandalized businesses.

“Graffiti makes a tremendous impact, not only for those business owners who are affected by the graffiti, but just the town in general,” Bryana Maupin with the Columbia Police Department said. “It can provide a decrease in property values. It can actually deter tourism because tourists will come here, see graffiti on walls and think this place isn’t safe.”

Maupin said CPD has added extra patrol downtown during the overnight hours when it believes the vandalism happens. She said officers are also reviewing multiple hours of video surveillance from the downtown cameras in hopes to find someone else who may be responsible for the vandalism.

If you have any information about the graffiti, police ask that you contact CPD or call CrimeStoppers at 875-TIPS.

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