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Vandals deface middle school

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

A reward is being offered for information on who is responsible for thousands of dollars in graffiti damage done to Carson Middle School last weekend.

Principal Sam Santillo said Thursday, more than 100 instances of tagging were found Monday morning on buildings, windows and three vehicles at the west Carson City school.

“The greatest amount of damage that occurred was they got up on the main roof and tagged the main sign above the gym. That’s going to probably create the greatest expense,” he said. “It was just rampant and everywhere. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Instead of spray paint, Santillo said, the culprits appeared to use common poster markers which have thick tips.

Janitors worked overtime Monday and Tuesday to cover the graffiti with white paint.

Over spring break, crews will paint over the white with paint that matches the walls. Also during the break, surveillance cameras will be installed using money from a Justice Department grant.

The district is also looking at graffiti-resistant paint on school buildings.

“To me this is a cheap act and it’s a cowardly act. We are going to be using money here to cleanup that could have been used to beautify the school,” Santillo said. “It sickens me. We’re just here for the kids.”

Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Jongsma said similar markings as those found on the middle school, were found the following day in a bathroom at Carson High School.

He said several of the markings were also indicative of a gang that is against alcohol, sex and drugs.

Secret Witness is offering a reward of $100 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the vandalism.

It appears vandals hit Sunday night into Monday morning.

With the school surrounded by single-family homes, it is possible there are unknowing witnesses to the assault, Jongsma said.

“That’s the key to kicking this investigation over the top, if we get information from somebody who saw something,” he said.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.