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49th Precinct takes steps in war against graffiti

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In the wake of the recent desecration of a 9/11 mural, the 49th Precinct has stepped up efforts in its never ending war on graffiti; making three big arrests over the last few weeks. 

The most recent arrest occurred on Saturday, May 31, at 1 a.m. when Sergeant Ryan Hughes and police officers Jose Caban and David Revans responded to a possible dispute involving a firearm at Brady and Wallace avenues. 

Upon seeing the NYPD, the perpetrators fled the scene. Officer James Nonnon subsequently found and arrested Dwayne Bailey, 18, of 600 Burke Avenue, and Sean Rodriguez, 16.   

Bailey, who had green spray paint on his hands, claimed to own the Knicks backpack that was found at the location. It contained six spray cans. 

Rodriquez, who also had green spray paint on his hands, admitted to utilizing the tag “POLE,” which the police found written on a dumpster next to the scene.  His baseball cap also adorned the word “POLE.”

Two days earlier, on Thursday, May 29 at 9 a.m., officers Andrew Jones and Kevin Olmeda were on patrol when they arrested 18-year-old Joshua Lopez, of 735 Mace Avenue, while he was out walking his dog. The officers witnessed Lopez creating graffiti on the window of Chase Bank, located at 742 Allerton Avenue, with shoe polish.

At the corner of Olinville and Allerton avenues at 9:40 a.m. on May 21, the Bronx Narcotics team observed 16-year-olds Victor Roldan, of 165 Pilot Street, and Javier Tovar, of 914 Simpson Street making graffiti. Officers Ryan Winkler and Robert Morales made the arrest after the 49th Precinct received notice.

All the perpetrators were charged with making graffiti, possession of graffiti making instruments and criminal mischief.  

With so many recent successful apprehensions, 49th Precinct Community Affairs Officer Vic DiPierro said he feels positive about the department’s efforts.

“We’re making incredible progress in the fight against graffiti, and we’re doing what we can and will continue to do so throughout the rest of the summer,” DiPierro said.  “We understand the public’s frustration and in addition to doing our part in conducting cleanups, good information from people in the community has been helping us work on prevention.”

Rewards of up to $500 may be given out to anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals. Calls can be made to 911 for acts of graffiti vandalism that are in progress, or 311 in all other instances.

Known graffiti vandals can also be reported to DiPierro at (718) 918-2025. 

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