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Kent Police arrest seven in graffiti incident

Kent Police arrested seven people for investigation of malicious mischief and criminal trespass after they were reportedly caught creating graffiti Sunday on the Highway 167 overpass at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.

Kent bicycle officers were conducting routine patrols along the railroad tracks when they saw a group of individuals spray-painting the cement walls, according to a Kent Police media release.

The group fled onto the overpass when they spotted police. Bicycle officers with help from officers in patrol vehicles were able to apprehend eight individuals.

Seven of the eight people had spray paint on their hands and were arrested for investigation of malicious mischief. The seven and one other person also were arrested for investigation of criminal trespass for walking along the railroad tracks.

The seven arrested for investigation of malicious mischief included men ages 23 and 28 from Kent, an 18-year-old Kent woman, a 23-year-old Pennsylvania man, two men ages 26 and 27 from Seattle and a 28-year-old man from unincorporated Kent, said Lisa Price, Kent Police spokeswoman. Police also arrested a 28-year-old man from unincorporated King County for criminal trespass.

Police recovered 36 cans of spray paint and several plastic bags full of nozzles. Officers also found a receipt on one of the individuals that showed 36 cans of spray paint had been purchased earlier Sunday at a store on Kent's East Hill.

“Some of this graffiti is very artistic and those arrested appear to be very talented," said Kent Police Chief Steve Strachan in a media release. "However, this is not the venue to express that creativity and art ability. Graffiti is illegal. Tagging property in Kent will not be tolerated.”

Volunteer city crews will paint over the graffiti on the overpass.

Residents are urged to call 911 if they witness graffiti in progress or observe suspicious activity. Residents also can call a 24-hour hotline at 253-856-4723 to report graffiti spotted on property.

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