MARSHALL - There are certainly more severe crime sprees out there, but a vandalism spike in Marshall has the police department asking the public to keep an eye out for incidents of vandalism, even after one suspect had been charged.
Sgt. Jim Marshall of the Marshall Police Department said Thursday that charges have been filed against a 15-year-old juvenile male of Marshall in a rash of vandalism cases, ranging from damage to the newly-renovated Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, and to Marshall parks and other buildings in the downtown area.
The most recent vandalism occurred when a sign for a mosque on West Main Street had a profane message spray painted on it.
"It's frustrating," Marshall said. "I would say it's probably typical to see more graffiti vandalism occur at this time of year - there seems to be a correlation between the weather and that type of activity. Sometimes it happens all at once."
Police are still investigating instances of graffiti on the 400 block of Peterson Street and the 900 block of West Main Street in Marshall and because of that wouldn't comment on what type of damage occurred at Holy Redeemer.
A $100 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible in these cases. Residents are asked to call the Marshall Police Department at 537-7000 with any information. Callers can remain anonymous.
Marshall said although spray painting incidents might seem like small potatoes to some, to those affected by it, it's a different story. Plus, he said, graffiti can be a negative reflection of a community.
"There's a large expense to re-painting a building, especially if it's brick, it can take a lot of time cleaning that up," he said. "That's why we always take an active approach and will continue to do so. It's also an effort to clean up the community.
"What one person might think is minor damage, it might be significant for someone else," Marshall added. "It still can take a huge amount of time to take care of it."
He said residents can play a big role in curbing these crimes.
"We rely on our community to provide us with information and we want them to feel comfortable in contacting the police department," he said. "The public is our best resource."
None of the recent vandalism incidents have included any structural damage to property and none appear to be gang-related, Marshall said.